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Work to begin on £1.8m Rally Park improvement scheme

Published on Wednesday, July 10, 2024

2 minute read

View of Rally Park with sign

WORK is getting under way to improve routes through Leicester’s Rally Park for walkers, wheelers and cyclists following a successful bid for government funding.

The city council last year secured £1.8million from the Active Travel Fund (Phase 4) to create new walking routes and cycle tracks through the Tudor Road park, as well as funding improvements to park entrances, more street furniture, new lighting and additional planting.

Now, work is set to begin to create wider walking routes and segregated cycle tracks on existing routes that run through Rally Park.

Entrances to the park – at Tudor Road, Bonchurch Street, Richard III Road and onto Fosse Road North – will all be improved. New lighting columns will be installed, overgrown vegetation will be cut back to improve visibility and safety and new seating will be installed.

The area next to the park’s historic train platform – which dates back to the creation of West Bridge Station in 1840 – will also be upgraded with new paving.

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.

The improved cycle tracks through the park will also link directly to new dedicated cycle lanes on Fosse Road North.

Cllr Geoff Whittle, assistant city mayor for environment and transport, said: “This ambitious scheme will help remove barriers to active travel in Rally Park, creating a more family and child-friendly route in the heart of a thriving neighbourhood. Once complete, it will provide 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.

“It’s a further example of our commitment to delivering schemes that help make walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyday trips for most people, and extending safe and attractive routes from the city centre into our local neighbourhoods.”

The overall programme of improvements on Rally Park is expected to take around 10 months to complete and will be carried out in phases to help minimise disruption.

A first phase of work will get under way next week (w/c 15 July).  This will see routes upgraded between Richard III Road to the old train platform and onto Tudor Road. Well signed pedestrian diversions and temporary footpaths will be in place while this work is carried out.

Some tree removal works are also being carried out. This will see six Ash trees felled due to Ash dieback disease.  A further cluster of six trees will be removed due to concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime following consultation with local ward councillors and police. This includes three Ash trees thought to be at risk of Ash dieback.

At least 24 new trees will be planted in more suitable locations within the park as part of the wider scheme.

Leicester City Council has been rated as one the highest performing local authorities in terms of active travel infrastructure and support by Active Travel England, the government’s executive agency tasked with making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyday trips.

Higher rated authorities are eligible to access more support from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.