ROUTES through Leicester’s Rally Park for walkers, wheelers and cyclists are set to be improved, thanks to a successful bid for funding from Active Travel England.
The city council has secured £1.8million from the Active Travel Fund (Phase 4) that will create new walking routes and cycle tracks through the Tudor Road park, as well as funding improvements to park entrances, more street furniture and additional planting.
Wider walking routes and segregated cycle tracks will be constructed along existing routes, including National Cycle Network Route 63 – the Forest Way – which runs through the park.
It will link to the new dedicated cycle lanes on Fosse Road North, extending the route as far south as the A47, and connect with a new cycleway up Groby Road to the Glenfield Hospital.
Access to the park will be improved, particularly for those going to and from the Castle Mead Academy, while new sealed-surface paths will replace the well-used but muddy routes surrounding the school. Seating, landscaping and new trees are also planned to enhance the route between Tudor Road and the school.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who’s responsible for active travel, said: “We’re committed to delivering schemes that help make walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyday trips for most people.
“When this scheme’s complete, there will be a much-improved link between Newfoundpool, Frog Island and the new Waterside neighbourhood for people on foot, on bikes or using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
“We know that where we build new infrastructure, people will use it. For instance, last year around 19,000 trips were made by bike each day, with the biggest increases on routes where we have delivered new schemes.
“In this part of the city, we are removing barriers to active travel in Rally Park, creating a more family and child-friendly active travel corridor and connecting people to where they want to be in a way that is healthy, green and safe.”
Consultation will get under way with local residents, park users and schools over the coming months, with stakeholders invited to consider design proposals this winter.
Construction work is expected to get under way during the spring and is likely to take several months to complete.
Leicester City Council has been rated as one the highest performing local authorities in terms of active travel infrastructure and support.
In Active Travel England’s first annual active travel capability ratings for local authorities, Leicester was one of just five local authorities to achieve a 3 rating, putting it among the top performing councils.