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Council outlines vision for potential revamp of popular shopping street

Queens Road artist's impression

INITIAL ideas for a potential revamp of a popular shopping street in Leicester’s Clarendon Park area have been outlined by the city council.

The city council is considering a range of possible improvements to Queen’s Road as part of a citywide programme of investment to help the city and local businesses recover from nearly two years of disruption from the pandemic.

At Queens Road, the city council aims to create a more attractive shopping environment, with more space for outdoor café areas and wider, safer pavements for pedestrians.

Initial ideas could see changes to some side road junctions – including potentially removing the junctions at Montague Road and Cecilia Road – to create more pedestrian space and cut the amount of traffic turning into Queens Road, helping to make the busy shopping street safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Pavements could be widened at key points to make more space for outdoor café-style seating areas to support businesses, while ensuring that adequate parking space is maintained for shoppers and visitors and loading bays are available for businesses.

This could include widening pavements outside Barceloneta and Friends Tandoori – between Howard Road and Cecilia Road – and filling in the existing bus bay alongside the shopping area between Montague Road and Clarendon Park Road to create more space.

The proposals will not impact the number of limited-time waiting bays on Queens Road.

Improvements to make the route safer and more appealing to cyclist are also being considered, along the introduction of a docking bay on Queens Road for the new Santander Cycles Leicester e-bike hire scheme.

Traffic calming measures, such as raised crossings, on Queens Road are also being considered to encourage motorists to cut their speed and improve road safety.

Earlier this year, the city council set aside £11.3million of capital funding for a number of road and transport schemes as part of its budget for 2022/23. This includes the regeneration of key shopping streets such as Queens Road.

The initial ideas for improvements to Queens Road have been developed closely with ward councillors and discussions are ongoing.

Assistant city mayor and Castle ward councillor Danny Myers said: “Queens Road is at the heart of the community in Clarendon Park. It’s a space that is held dear. Events like our Summer and Christmas fairs attract thousands and it is a place that enjoyed throughout the day and evening, all year round.

“Creating a high quality-space that reflects this popularity is a great opportunity. It’d be really interesting to see what people think of these proposals and other ideas they may have for Queens Rd too.”

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transport, added: “It’s really important that we continue to invest in streets like Queens Road to enhance the environment, make them more people-friendly and help ensure their local businesses continue to thrive.

“Although these initial ideas are in the very early stages, it’s clear that we have a real opportunity to invest in Queens Road and make it an even more attractive place for residents, local business and visitors.

“These early thoughts have already been shared at a meeting of Friends of Clarendon Park and we’re very keen for the local community to be an integral part of the creative process as this scheme develops”.

The city council expects to firm up proposals for Queens Road over the coming months, with a view to inviting feedback on final design plans from local residents and businesses this summer.