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Work to start on revival of Leicester’s 1930s cycleway after £1m boost from ATE

Deniz Huseyin
24 April 2024

 

A cycleway in Leicester installed in the 1930s which had fallen into disrepair is to be revived and converted into a two-way route.

The scheme – which will get more than £1m in funding from Active Travel England – follows the resurfacing of the carriageway on Melton Road, which was completed last year.

As part of the project, junctions will be re-configured to give priority at side roads to those walking or cycling, while a new toucan crossing will be installed. The upgrade is due to be completed by August.

The cycleway was one of more than 100 identified by cycling journalist and historian Carlton Reid in his research.

Between 1934 and 1945, the Ministry of Transport paid local authorities to build 100-plus ‘cycle tracks’ modelled on the cycleways of the Netherlands, said Reid. Many, like Melton Road cycleway, were 9ft wide.

Reid’s research into the forgotten cycleways was carried out in partnership with John Dales, Director of Urban Movement. They selected 12 schemes that could be revived and renovated, among them the Melton Road cycleway.

Reid said: “It’s brilliant to see my research helping to bring back to life an essential part of Leicester’s transport network. The upgrades will allow people to use infrastructure that’s more than 80 years old yet still eminently practical.”

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Leicester has a strong track record of success in bidding for Government funds to improve the city’s cycling and walking infrastructure.

“This latest scheme will revive an historic cycleway that has served cyclists well since the 1930s but, after 90 years, the old concrete track is now in a poor state of repair.

“A new, smooth tarmac surface will greatly improve the experience for cyclists and bring this important section of our cycling network up to modern standards.”

ATE funding for the scheme is part of an award of nearly £2.2m that will also support the completion of new cycleways and footway improvements on Saffron Lane between Aylestone Road and Copinger Road.

Find out more about the Melton Road Project at Active City Cycle City taking place in Leicester on 16-17 July.

Melton Road among ‘top 12’ cycle tracks set for renovation

Leicester’s Melton Road scheme is one of 12 ‘forgotten’ cycle tracks that have upgrading potential, according to a report produced for the DfT by Urban Movement, which has been working in partnership with Carlton Reid.

John Dales, Director of Urban Movement, said most of the local authorities concerned were “highly interested” in using

the design work in future bids for funding from Active Travel England.

The 12 cycleways are:

1. Links Road, Blyth, Northumberland

2. The Links, Whitley Bay,

North Tyneside

3. Euxton Lane, Euxton/ Chorley, Lancashire

4. Formby Bypass, Sefton, Merseyside

5. Harpfield Road, Stoke-on-Trent

6. Arnold Road, Nottingham

7. Raynesway, Derby

8. Melton Road, Leicester

9. Kenilworth Road, Coventry

10. Marston Road, Oxford

11. Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Hillingdon

12. Mickleham Bypass, Surrey

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