Leicesters Golden Mile is in crisis.

The city’s Golden Mile is in crisis as a combination of pressures mean shoppers are staying away.

It is a pity that nobody recognises that one reason that people will choose to stay away from the Golden Mile is that the traffic makes it so unpleasant.

The road is always packed with cars, vans, lorries & buses. At most times of day it is faster to cycle than to drive. But it is a scary road to cycle on as it is so busy and lanes come and go.

If the Council want to make this attractive for shoppers then they need to implement significant traffic calming, provide good cycle paths and wider & safer pavements. Make it a really nice place to stroll along to visit all the shops and restaurants.

That process has worked in many other cities it would be a good idea for Leicester with it’s claims to be “Britain’s first Environment City” and a “Cycle City” to actually take action.

So my suggestions would be:

  • Change the road so that there is only one lane of traffic in each direction. No extra lanes for right turns or anything else.
  • Use the extra width to provide a 2m wide cycle path in each direction. This needs to be protected from the road by high kerbs that prevent cars etc using it for overtaking or parking.
  • Refurbish the pavements by relaying so that that are smooth and uncluttered. Surface with a nice brick.
  • Provide a level crossing of every side street for pedestrians and cyclists with total priority over all other traffic
  • Provide plenty of cycle parking all the way along the Golden Mile.
  • Turn the hatched off area of the Belgrave flyover into a clearly marked cycle lane with prioritised safe routes on and off the flyover (including in and out of both Sainsburys and Leicester College).
  • Provide much better pedestrian and cycle routes from the City Centre with excellent road crossings and clear signs.
  • At the northern end resurface the cycle lanes along the Melton Road past Rushymead. Give them priority at the small junctions and provide a safe crossing of Troon Way for cyclists and pedestrians. Make sure the cycle route is properly connected to Watermead Park, Thurmaston and Syston.
If people in Birstall, Thurmaston and Syston had a safe, clear cycle route into the Golden Mile then I am sure many more would want to shop there. As the moment it is unattractive to drive there due to the congestion and lack of parking. Cycling there is unpleasant and feels dangerous especially with the crossing of Troon Way and then horrible traffic in the Golden Mile itself.
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