Plans for changes to Soar Lane

As part of the Waterside development, proposals have been made for changes to the use of Soar Lane, which currently forms part of National Cycle Network Route 6. We consider the changes will make this section less safe for cyclists and have submitted a comment to the Council in relation to the planning application. You can access the application documents on the Planning Department’s webpages and it would appear that you may still be able to comment, although the ‘publicity period’ has ended.  Below you will find the text of a letter put together by LCCG members in response to the proposals, in case you would like to submit your own comments.

“I am writing on behalf of Leicester Cycling Campaign Group about planning application 20151587, the outline application for Phase 1 of the Waterside redevelopment.

“There are many aspects of this plan, and the wider Waterside regeneration proposals, that we welcome. These include new cycle/pedestrian routes along the water’s edge, and the provision of cycle parking throughout the project area. Given its proximity to the city centre, we feel the Waterside represents a great opportunity for a mixed development where a significant number of journeys are made by cycle, on foot, and by public transport.

“However, we are concerned about the proposals regarding Soar Lane. The report and its transport assessment recognise that Soar Lane forms part of National Cycle Route 6. The location of the river and canal mean it is one of the few places where cyclists can make east-west journeys. Soar Lane has relatively little motor traffic at present, partly because the area is economically depressed, and partly because the road is one-way from the A50 Northgates junction. Naturally the success of Waterside would increase traffic flows, as would (we believe) making the road two-way along its entire length. The traffic assessment predicts an increase in traffic at the Soar Lane-Jarvis Street junction of 33-48 per cent – without altering the one-way section.

“We are further concerned that the application proposes to make Soar Lane a “shared surface”. We believe the safest way for all road users is if cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles are physically segregated from each other. The “shared space” at Jubilee Square continues to cause us concern, and we note that further signs have been put up in the past few days, presumably due to ongoing safety concerns.”

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