Leicester City Council have unveiled plans for a major revamp of Leicester’s Abbey Park Road. Modifications will include a new bike-friendly footbridge across the River Soar and major junction improvements.
The striking centrepiece of the revamp will be a new 3.5metre wide footbridge which will run parallel to the existing road bridge across the River Soar and will help ensure that there is enough space for all road users to use the route safely and efficiently.
The renovations are part of a £7.5million scheme supported by the Transforming Cities Fund as part of an ambitious programme of investment in sustainable transport across the city. The scheme will also see the introduction of new bus lanes and the improved of footpaths that will create a safer and more attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists.
Extensive maintenance work will also be carried out to the two existing road bridges which cross the river and canal. New camera-enforced bus lanes running in both directions along the road will give more priority to public transport in a bid to improve journey times and encourage more people to use the bus.
Footpaths will be widened to provide safe space for pedestrians and cyclists and two new road crossings will be created. A small area of car parking immediately in front of the main gates into Abbey Park will be removed, and the area revamped to create a more welcoming approach into the award-winning, historic park. A new e-bike docking station will also be installed to the west of the River Soar as part of electric bike hire scheme launched earlier this year by the city council in partnership with Santander.
Alongside this, the city council is planning extensive improvements to Abbey Park Road’s busy junction with the A6 Abbey Lane and Blackbird Road, and also at the nearby junction with Exploration Drive. Work will be carried out to remodel both junctions to give greater priority to buses and encourage more people to use public transport. Works will also be carried out to address delays at the junction of Abbey Lane and Exploration Drive and to improve access to Pioneer Park.
Initial works on Abbey Park Road are due to begin in September 2021 and the scheme is expected to take up to 18 months to complete. Works on the junction are due to begin in October and will take around six months. Extensive maintenance work on the existing road bridge is scheduled to start from spring 2022 and will require an extended road closure. More details will be publicised by Leicester City Council nearer the time.
To view the plans for Abbey Park Road and junction improvements in more detail, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/transformingcitiesfund
By Gita Sarasia