Work to transform a stretch of road linking Leicester’s Golden Mile to the city centre will get under way next month.
Leicester City Council plans to create a safer and more attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists along a stretch of Belgrave Gate, from the new Haymarket Bus Station to Belgrave Circle.
A first phase of work will begin from Monday 16 July.
This will involve the creation of new segregated cycle lanes on both sides of Belgrave Gate, between Abbey Street and Burleys Way, and the reconstruction of existing footpaths in high quality resin bound gravel. The pedestrian crossing will be upgraded and new street trees will also be planted as part of the scheme.
The road will be narrowed, with traffic lanes reduced to one in each direction, with new bus stops and loading bays built in. The inbound bus lane will be extended up to Wilton Street, in response to feedback from the public consultation.
Existing parking bays will be removed, but additional car parking will be provided on side streets. The road will also be completely resurfaced.
The first phase of work is expected to take around seven months, with a break over the Christmas period when city centre traffic is at its busiest. The road will be kept open in both directions during the works to keep disruption to a minimum.
A second phase of work – due to get under way in April 2019 – will see improvements made to Burleys Way roundabout, with a new shared footpath and cycleway running underneath the flyover, providing a more direct and safer route along Belgrave Gate.
North of Burleys Way, a separate cycleway and footpath will be created along the central reservation, to link with improvements made to Belgrave Circle following the removal of the flyover.
The overall scheme will cost £1.9million and will be largely funded with Government cash through the Local Growth Fund.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This latest phase of the Connecting Leicester programme will create a much more attractive route from the city centre out to The Golden Mile and Abbey Park via the new bridge at Charter Street.
“It will provide a safer space for cyclists on this busy route, adding to the growing network of new cycleways in and around the city centre and linking to nearby neighbourhoods. The later phase of work will also see better use being made of space under the Burleys Way flyover, which will be much more inviting to for pedestrians and cyclists.
“These important works are part of a much wider ambition which will see the area around the Haymarket Theatre and Clock Tower completely revamped.”