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Work will start this weekend, on a major new neighbourhood cycling route in Leicester as part of a government-backed citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport.

£1.8million is being invested to improve a route along Blackbird Road, Parker Drive and Beaumont Leys Lane, to help encourage more people to make the shift to walking and cycling.

Work will begin on Parker Drive on this Sunday (May8), where a new 2.5m to 3m off-road cycle track will be constructed along the full length of the road.

Picture: Unsplash

Initially, this will require a six-week partial closure of the junction with Somerset Avenue, which will be remodelled. This will see the removal of two splitter roads to create a narrower T-junction and provide a safer and more direct crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. A two-week full closure of the junction will be required from Sunday 19 June. 

Further closures will be required to three side roads along Parker Drive throughout the summer. The junctions with Norwich Road, Bagingley Drive and Galleywood Drive will each close for up to two days while work to raise road levels and provide safer crossings is carried out.

Short, well-signed diversions will be in place as required.

The improvements on Parker Drive are expected to be complete by the end of September 2022, when work will move to related improvements on Blackbird Road and Beaumont Leys Lane to provide a new continuous 2.5km safe route for pedestrians and cyclists.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport and environment at Leicester City Council, said: “We know that many more journeys in Leicester will be walked or cycled if we continue to provide the safe and pleasant means of doing so from the city centre to neighbourhoods and this is evidenced in our recent Local Transport Plan.

“These latest plans are just one part of an ambitious citywide programme that is now extending the multi-million-pound investment we have made in improving routes in and around the city centre, out into the Leicester’s busy neighbourhoods. By making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, we can help encourage more people to leave the car at home and choose cleaner, greener and cheaper ways of getting about in the city.”

The improvements will be paid for through the Transforming Cities Fund, a major £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport, backed by £50million of government cash from the Department for Transport. The ambitious package of works will focus on providing more attractive, cleaner, greener transport choices for people to help support the city’s growth and deliver on the council’s climate emergency, air quality and healthy living commitments.

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