PLANS for major investment in a new phase of improvements to the busy A6 in Leicester are now in the final stages, and people are being invited to have their say.
The city council is investing almost £3million on a range of improvements on a stretch of the busy A6, covering St Margaret’s Way and Abbey Lane. It’s part of a citywide programme of works – backed by £40million of Government cash through the Transforming Cities Fund – to encourage more people to make the shift to sustainable transport and help ease congestion.
New measures are being proposed to make it easier for buses, including those serving Beaumont Leys and the Birstall Park & Ride, to travel quickly and reliably along this important route.
Under the plans, new bus lanes will be introduced in both directions on parts of Abbey Lane and St Margaret’s Way. This will require the number of lanes for general traffic on parts of the A6 to be reduced from two to one adjacent to the new bus lanes.
The bus lanes will stop and start a safe distance from major junctions along the road, to help ensure that general traffic does not inadvertently enter a bus lane.
Only buses, taxis and bicycles will be able to use the restricted lanes.
The scheme has been designed so that the new bus lanes will not adversely affect the general flow of traffic. This includes plans to introduce a new ‘red route’ – or ‘No Stopping Order’ – along the full length of Abbey Lane and St Margaret’s Way.
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 and red route – which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week – is also proposed.
New loading and short stay waiting bays are also proposed.
The planned works will complement improvements recently completed along a section of the A6 between Abbey Park Road and Exploration Drive, at the Ravensbridge Drive junction and on Abbey Park Road itself. These works are already seeing benefits to traffic flow and have helped ease congestion at busy junctions during peak times.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on climate, economy and culture, said: “These important and ambitious improvements to the A6 in Leicester will make it easier for buses to travel quickly and reliably along this important route in and out of the city centre.
“We know that introducing bus lanes will improve bus journey times and help make taking the bus a much more attractive option for people. That’s why it’s one of the main priorities of the Leicester Bus Partnership.
“Getting more people out of their cars and onto buses or bikes will help cut congestion and further improve the city’s air quality and support Leicester’s response to the climate emergency. It’s vital that we continue to be bold and ambitious in our plans to deliver a greener solution for the future growth of our city.”
Around 3,000 leaflets detailing the proposed scheme are being delivered to nearby homes and businesses.
The city council has also begun the legal process to make the new traffic regulation orders (TROs) that are required for the proposed changes to ahead. More details on this can be found at: www.leicester.gov.uk/TrafficRegulationOrders
People have until Sunday 30th July to comment on the plans.
If given the go-ahead, the works are likely to begin later this year and will also include general maintenance and any required resurfacing along the busy route.
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. For more information about the Big Bus Plan visit www.leicesterbuses.co.uk