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Improvement work to begin at busy city road junction

Roadworks sign

TRAFFIC restrictions will be in place at a junction on a busy main road in Leicester from next week as part of a major highway improvement programme.

Work will be carried out from Monday (10 Jan) on part of the A6 Abbey Lane at its busy junction with Abbey Park Road and Blackbird Road.

Currently, the single lane right turn from Abbey Park Road onto Abbey Lane is a pinch point for buses and gets congested at peak times causing delays for all traffic.

As part of the improvements being carried out, the junction will be reconfigured to allow traffic to turn right onto Abbey Lane from two of the three lanes at the junction of Abbey Park Road.

This will involve remodelling the existing splitter islands and major realigning of the junction. At the same time the existing traffic signals will be fully upgraded and pedestrian crossings improved.

Work will also be carried out to address delays at the junction of Abbey Lane and Exploration Drive and to improve access to Pioneer Park and the Asda supermarket. A longer right turn lane will be created for outbound traffic turning right into Exploration Drive from Abbey Lane. This will run from the junction of Byford Way to Exploration Drive.

Existing pedestrian crossings in the immediate area will also be upgraded and footpaths widened to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The work is expected to take up to six months to complete and will be carried out on a phased basis at off-peak times only, to minimise disruption to traffic. However, some lane restrictions will be required. Drivers are advised to consider using Anstey Lane or Melton Road/Belgrave Road as alternative routes to avoid potential delays. Up-to-date driver information will be displayed using mobile variable messaging signs as required.

Short-term, overnight road closures will also be required in the summer for resurfacing works, and details will be publicised nearer the time.

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “It is vital that we continue to invest in encouraging more people to make the shift to cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable transport, not least because traffic is responsible for a quarter of our city’s carbon emissions.

“Ensuring our bus services are reliable and have priority over general traffic on important routes is really important in encouraging more people onto buses. We know the introduction of new bus lanes on busy routes can have a major impact on bus patronage, with increases of up to 13 per cent.

“Along with the expansion of the citywide network of safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists, investment in public transport will be vital to meeting our commitment to help further improving the city’s air quality and helping Leicester in its response to the climate emergency.”

The junction improvements are closely linked to major revamp of Abbey Park Road, which will include the construction of a new bike-friendly footbridge across the River Soar.

The £7.5million Abbey Park Road scheme – which will also see new bus lanes introduced and footpaths improved to create a safer and more attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists – is supported by the Transforming Cities Fund as part of an ambitious programme of investment in sustainable transport across the city.

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