WORK has begun on a £900,000 revamp of one of Leicester’s busiest streets, in an attempt to create a more welcoming gateway into the city centre, whilst helping to make the route safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists.
Leicester City Council has begun work to pedestrianise and improve a stretch of Granby Street between its junctions with Northampton Street and the inner ring road at St George’s Way, with bosses hailing it as an important gateway into the city centre.
The pedestrianised area will be reconstructed to create a level surface, finished in red asphalt and a continuation of the existing high-quality block paving. Automated bollards will be installed at the entry and exit points and changes will be made to the existing contraflow cycle lane between Dover Street and the inner ring road to improve the route for cyclists.
Improvements are also planned for Northampton Street, where the existing footpaths will be widened and two new loading bays created,
New tree planting and cycle parking are also planned, and the installation of a new docking station as part of the city’s Santander Cycles Leicester e-bike hire scheme.
An earlier proposal to close the Dover Street junction with Granby Street will be amended following feedback from consultation carried out in spring 2021.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: ““These improvements will make the route more welcoming and safer for pedestrians and cyclists, while having minimal impact on motorists. It’s over a decade since the underpass that ran beneath the ring road was removed and now is a good time to revisit the area and improve it further.
“This part of Granby Street is a major gateway into the city centre for people arriving in Leicester by train and is a busy shopping street in its own right. It links directly to the super crossing on St George’s Way and is an important route for anyone walking or cycling into the city centre,” he added.
The scheme will cost around £900,000 and will be supported through the Getting Building Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) for shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery.
The work is estimated to take around seven months to complete.
A partial road closure of Northampton Street, from Charles Street to Newport Place, will be required from Sunday, January 16 for up to 11 weeks.
Work will then move further along Northampton Street, from its junctions with Newport Place to Granby Street. Well-signed diversions will be in place. Work will move onto Granby Street in the spring.