Sunday, June 26, 2022

Leicester businesses asked for views on potential revamp of popular shopping street

Businesses in Leicester’s Clarendon Park are being asked for their views on a potential revamp of the popular Queens Road shopping street.

Leicester City Council is considering a range of possible improvements as part of a citywide programme of investment to help local businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic and the disruption it caused.

At Queens Road, the city council wants to help improve the shopping environment by creating more space for outdoor café areas and wider, safer pavements for pedestrians.

Initial ideas could see changes made to some side road junctions – including potentially closing the junctions at Montague Road and Cecilia Road to vehicles – 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 retaining the on-street parking spaces for shoppers and visitors, including disabled people. Additional loading bays could be provided for businesses.

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

Improvements to make the route safer and more appealing to cyclists are also being considered, to complement the recent introduction of a docking station on Queens Road as part of 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.

The initial ideas for improvements to Queens Road have been developed closely with ward councillors and now the city council is inviting local residents and businesses to have their say.

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 can be enjoyed throughout the day and evening, all year round.

“Creating a high quality-space that reflects this popularity is a great opportunity. The area would really benefit for improvements to create a more attractive and safer environment for visitors and to support local businesses. It’ll be interesting to see what people think of these proposals and to hear other ideas they may have for Queens Road 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.

“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.

“We’re very keen for the local community to be an integral part of the creative process as this scheme develops.”

An online survey has been launched to help gather people’s views. Closing date for comments is Saturday 30 July 2022. The project team will also be at the Clarendon Park Summer Fair on Sunday (19 June) to discuss the initial proposals in more detail, and letters outlining the ideas will be delivered to homes and businesses in the area.

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