PLANS for major investment in a new phase of improvements on a stretch of the busy A6 in Leicester have been outlined by the city council.
Leicester City Council plans to invest almost £3million on a range of improvements on part the A6 covering St Margaret’s Way and Abbey Lane as part of a major programme of works to help encourage more people to make the shift to sustainable transport.
The planned works will complement improvements recently completed at the Ravensbridge Drive junction and along a section of the A6 between Abbey Park Road and Exploration Drive. These works are already seeing benefits to traffic flow and have helped address congestion at busy junctions during peak times.
Now, the city council plans to extend these improvements and introduce new measures to make it easier for buses, including those serving the Birstall Park & Ride, to quickly and reliably travel along the major route between Sanvey Gate and Redhill Circle.
The plans would see the introduction of new bus lanes, running in both directions, between Sanvey Gate and Wolsey Street, between Byford Road and Beaumont Leys Lane and between Corporation Road and Thurcaston Road. This will require the number of lanes for general traffic to be reduced from two to one adjacent to the new bus lanes.
The scheme has been designed so the new bus lanes will not adversely affect the general flow of traffic. This includes plans to introduce a ‘No Stopping Order’ – commonly known as a red route. This will help prevent unauthorised parking, particularly by car transporters, which can be a significant cause of congestion along the route. Camera enforcement of the bus lanes is also proposed.
A new 30mph speed limit would be introduced between Thurcaston Road and the city centre to help manage traffic and make the route safer
Provision for loading will be provided where needed to ensure that businesses are not affected.
The existing inbound bus lane between Redhill Circle and Thurcaston Road will be retained.
The proposed scheme would also see improvements made to the busy junction of Corporation Road, Beaumont Leys Lane and the A6, with safer pedestrian and cycle crossings introduced. New cycle lanes will be created on Beaumont Leys Lane linking to improvements already underway in that neighbourhood.
If given the go-ahead, the works are likely to begin in spring 2023 and will also include general maintenance and any required resurfacing along the busy route.
The scheme is one of the key improvement projects planned by the Leicester Buses Partnership. It will be paid for through the Transforming Cities Fund following the city council’s successful bid for £32million of second tranche funding to support improvements to local public transport and support more cycling and walking routes between the city centre and local neighbourhoods.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport, clean air and climate emergency, said: “The next phase of improvements being proposed for the A6 will make it easier for buses to quickly and reliably travel along this important route in and out of the city centre, making bus travel on this busy route a much more attractive option.
“As it stands, the volume of traffic at busy times can cause significant delays for buses, resulting in unreliable services. Introducing new bus lanes is a key way of improving bus journey times, and is one of the main priorities of our Leicester Bus Partnership. We have seen how the introduction of new bus lanes on busy routes – such as Aylestone Road – can have a positive impact on bus patronage, with increases of up to 13 per cent.
“Getting more people onto buses, and helping to reduce the number of journeys they take by car, will further improve the city’s air quality and support Leicester’s response to the climate emergency. We need to be bold and ambitious in our plans to deliver a greener solution for the future growth of our city.”
Hundreds of letters have been sent to nearby residents and businesses setting out the proposals and inviting comment.
The new plans are also available to view at www.leicester.gov.uk/TransformingCitiesFund
Leicester City Council is carrying out an ambitious £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport, backed by £40million from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. The package of work is delivering major sustainable transport improvements to provide attractive choices for people to get to work, education, local and other facilities supporting the city’s growth and deliver on the council’s climate emergency, air quality and healthy living commitments.
The Leicester Bus Partnership brings together Leicester City Council and all the city’s bus companies to help transform the bus network over the next eight years by delivering a package of measures to collectively improve and sustain bus travel. It aims to bring about a transformative change in bus travel, that’s electric, frequent, reliable, easy and great value.