WORK has started on major improvements to Leicester’s busy Saffron Lane as part of a major Government-backed programme of investment in Sustainable travel across the city.
Leicester City Council is planning to invest over £970,000 on improvements to Saffron Lane to help encourage more people to make the shift to walking and cycling.
Work is now underway on to revamp footpaths and create a new off-road cycle path on both sides of the busy road, between Hawkins Road and the new junction with Putney Road. This will require some temporary lane restrictions and footpath closures. Work is expected to take about four months to complete.
A new 3-metre-wide cycle lane which will run across Aylestone Recreation Ground, alongside the existing tree-lined footpath through the park, is also being created as part of the scheme.
The work is will be funded through the Transforming Cities Fund following the city council’s successful bids for £40million to help fund improvements to local public transport and support more cycling and walking routes into city neighbourhoods and the city centre.
Deputy Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “This major improvement scheme represents an important expansion of the city’s growing network of safe and attractive routes for cyclists and pedestrians. The work on Saffron Lane will help us to further extend the multi-million-pound investment we have made in and around the city centre out into the Leicester’s busy neighbourhoods.
“It is vital that we continue to provide healthier, greener streets to accommodate future growth of the city and its economy, all of which supports our commitments to address the climate emergency and to reduce air pollution. We need to be radical and ambitious to meet these challenges.
"The scheme will be complemented by the introduction of Santander Cycles ebike docking facilities, due to be introduced in the area later this year."
The Transforming Cities Fund is a major £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport, backed by £40million of Government cash from the Department for Transport. The ambitious package of works will focus on major sustainable transport improvements to provide attractive choices for people to get to work, education, shops and other local facilities to help support the city’s growth and deliver on the council’s climate emergency, air quality and health living commitments.
The programme includes the development of new bus priority corridors linking the city centre to local neighbourhoods and suburbs along with the continued development of a network of high-quality cycling and walking routes throughout the city, building on the success of the Connecting Leicester programme.
It has also seen the introduction of electric buses onto the Park and Ride service and a new citywide electric bike hire scheme in partnership with Santander.