Cycling and walking pop-ups
A mile of new pop-up cycling and walking lanes will be installed under new plans for the post-lockdown recovery of Leicester’s transport system. This will be to enable people to cycle and walk safely rather than relying on public transport.
Covid-19 and the need to socially distance is impacting on all aspects of our lives, including transport and travel. This will continue for some time.
As our shopping centres begin to reopen from 15 June, businesses will have to ensure social distancing and the safety of their customers. This will inevitably lead to increased queuing outside shops and will make it particularly difficult as and when cafes and bars are allowed to reopen safely.
We want to help people to support their local businesses. By reallocating road space, we can widen footways and increase the space available for shoppers. This will create space to manage queues and could provide opportunities for bars and cafes to serve more customers by putting tables on-street. We intend to streamline the licensing process to help businesses wanting to take up this opportunity.
Unless absolutely necessary, government advice is to avoid using public transport and consider walking or cycling, particularly for shorter journeys. Our cycling pop-ups provide safe space for new and returning cyclists to try travelling into and around the city by bike. The pop-ups are being designed in line with government guidance and they compliment and link with our existing cycle network which has seen significant investment and expansion in recent years through the Connecting Leicester programme.
By promoting sustainable transport options, the pop-ups help to improve both the health and fitness of residents, as well as improving air quality across the city.
It is essential that we encourage and promote healthier travel options which address the social distancing challenge posed by Covid-19. This will also help to keep our transport network running effectively for those who do need to make essential journeys by car. Hopefully, some of those encouraged to walk and cycle during Covid-19 will continue to do so once the pandemic is over.
Our cycling pop-up programme is supported by a range of other initiatives including Leicester Bike Aid, which issues bikes to key workers, offers free bike fixes and is providing more cycle parking across the city.
- London Road (inbound/outbound)
- A47 & Hinckley Road (inbound/outbound)
- Glenfield Road (outbound)
- Abbey Park Road (Belgrave Circle to park entrance)
- Queens Road
- Aylestone Road
- Pocklingtons Walk
- Belgrave Road
- Green Lane Road
- Braunstone Gate
- Mill Lane Bridge
- Beaumont Leys Lane
- Abbey Lane
- Parker Drive
- St Margaret’s Way
- Granby Street
- Narborough Road
- Haymarket/Belgrave Gate
Covid-19 poses an unprecedented challenge which requires a rapid response. Our normal consultation procedures have therefore been waived to ensure the pop-up schemes can be rolled out quickly using traffic cones and temporary infrastructure. Going forward, we will monitor the sites and listen to feedback. If necessary, individual schemes can easily be amended to respond to improve the operation and maximise local opportunities arising, as well as address specific issues.
Our aim is to make sustainable transport as easy as possible and support both the city centre and local neighbourhoods during the Covid-19 crisis.
Feedback on improving social distancing measures can be emailed to us.
Have your say on creating more safe space on city’s streets
You can nominate a location where more space or improvements for walking or cycling are needed. You can also show your support by voting for an existing suggestion. These will help us identify where changes are being requested to help make streets safer by creating more space for physical distancing due to coronavirus. All suggestions and votes can be made on the Widen My Path website.
The pop-up schemes will be monitored and amended to maximise the benefits for those wishing to walk and cycle by improving accessibility whilst taking into account the needs of businesses. The aim is to support local neighbourhoods by providing the space required for people to socially distance whilst using their local centres.
Queuing for entry has caused large lines of people outside of some shops. These are now becoming commonplace, as many stores introduce caps on the number of people allowed inside at any one time. This also affects safe space available for social distancing on the public highway.
Retailers are required to put in place queue management systems which:
- Ensure 2m social distancing queuing systems are in operation between pedestrians and shoppers, to be maintained wherever practical to do so in high footfall streets, narrow streets and shopping areas
- Ensure orderly queues outside premises
- Manage impacts on social distancing from on-street queues for shoppers and other pedestrian users in shopping areas
- Include co-operating with neighbouring businesses over queue management.
We are supporting these objectives by:
- Establishing measures to increase safe pedestrian space availability on the public highway in the city centre and district shopping centres
- Supporting cycling where it is safe and practical, but avoiding conflict with queuing shoppers/pedestrians.
There is no doubt that some Covid-19 pop-up schemes will reduce on-street parking and increase loading restrictions. However, in these exceptional circumstances, a balance must be struck between maintaining vehicle access while creating safe walking and cycling opportunities and increased space for social distancing.
Loading issues are considered when designing the pop-up schemes. However, we recognise that individual businesses may have specific needs and will work with owners to ensure that the Covid-19 pop-up measures do not unreasonably affect their business.
Bus operators are aware of the individual pop-up schemes and recognise why they are being installed when government advice is to only use public transport when absolutely necessary.
The pop-up scheme designs ensure that existing bus stops and bus shelters remain in use or are suitably relocated. We will monitor the performance of the pop-up sites along with our bus operator partners. We will amend the schemes, as necessary, if bus services are experiencing excessive delays and/or reliability issues.
If a pop-up scheme reduces on-street parking and/or the number of disabled parking bays available, we aim to provide additional spaces in nearby streets.
Creating additional space for pedestrians – by using carriageway space to widen footways - means disabled and visually impaired people can use them more safely and maintain social distancing without having to move into the road.
We are maintaining crossing points and will be working with retailers to minimise unnecessary street clutter such as A-Boards. We will also consider measures to support disabled and visually impaired people when considering applications for street café licences.
We have reacted quickly and created the first pop-up facilities using our funds. We have now received an initial government allocation of £363,000 to support this work and are bidding (along with other local authorities) for additional government funding.