Leicester Cycling Campaign Group are very aware that, thanks to the city Mayor, Leicester is moving in the right direction with regards to giving people choices in how they travel. We sometimes go into the county, are reminded what cycle provision was like 20 years ago and are glad to be back on something half-useful in the city.
We have some segregated contraflows (Berridge Street, Greyfriars), segregated tracks (Southgates, Newarke St) and a fully pedestrianised town centre. There have been sub-standard bits (north of Belgrave Circle) but we are encouraged by movement on London Road and Welford Road, both major routes into and out of the city. We have a forum chaired by Sir Peter Soulsby, the city Mayor, specifically to discuss cycle infrastructure with him and the planners. We have also raised issues with the way consultation and communication has been handled with other projects, and have been promised greater openness and transparency from the planning department.
In light of all this, recent events around the A50 Groby Road have been extremely disappointing. Details of the consultation on improvements between the New Parks Blvd roundabout by the Glenfield Hospital and the junction with Blackbird Road approaching the inner ring road are available on the Council’s website. Plans at that stage included a dedicated, segregated cycle lane on either side of the road, all the way out to the roundabout at Station Road / Gynsill Lane beyond County Hall (as in the attached drawing, still showing on the website).
We responded to the consultation in November 2014 pointing out (amongst other things), the lack of width at 1.5m and the lack of priority at side roads. The council facilitated a meeting on 3rd December with the project engineer to discuss this project, which was very positive.
Plans were circulated in December which lacked any junction treatments beyond the occasional toucan but did have tracks on both sides of the A50. Our previous comments stand.
Deadly quiet reigned for 3 months. A cycle city workshop meeting arranged a meeting with the planners for 1st April but this didn’t make it into the minutes. Or anybody at the council’s diaries – the key people were on holiday so it didn’t happen.
15th April, cycle city workshop – meeting planned for 21st April.
21st April – meeting cancelled on the day because the design team couldn’t make it.
Discussion moved to the Cycle City Workshop scheduled for 20th May. Aware that time was ticking by, we asked for an earlier meeting with the project manager and hoped that we would at least get a chance to see the plans in advance of the CCW. We’re told that there were no convenient dates available for a pre-meeting and that there were delays with the plans.