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New bid for £6.6 million cycle path improvements

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Cyclists could benefit from nearly four miles of extra cycle paths throughout the city. Leicester City Council has bid for £6.6million of Government cash to create the new traffic-free cycle tracks alongside main roads heading into and around the city centre. The aim is to get more commuters switching to bicycles to ease congestion and make the city more environmentally friendly. Plans include a cycle link between Narborough Road and the forthcoming Jubilee Square, and to link the west side of the city centre from Newarke Street down to Freemen's Common and Leicester College. The cash would also help pay for planned improvements along the Golden Mile. The city council last year outlined plans for a more pedestrian-friendly design for the busy shopping street. The cycling bid includes a cycle network linking Leicester city centre, Belgrave Road, Abbey Park and the National Space Centre. It would also pay for a 500-metre two-way cycle track along Belgrave Road's central reservation as well as 25 new or upgraded pedestrian crossings along the route. City mayor Peter Soulsby said it would be the most ambitions extension of city cycle paths in years. He said: "This bid shows our ambitions for the future of cycling in Leicester. "The vision is to make cycling an ordinary, everyday means of transport in our city." He said the cycle paths would be a big boost to his attempt to link city areas under his Connecting Leicester project, which includes work to extend New Walk to the west along Newarke Street. He said: "With Connecting Leicester, we are already improving pedestrian and cycling links between our historic buildings and the retail heart of the city. "This bid shows our ambition to extend that into surrounding neighbourhoods. "Key to this would be the creation of more traffic-free cycle lanes. "This would take cyclists off busy roads and help encourage more people to use their bikes on direct routes in and out of the city centre, where they can feel confident and safe. "We want to elevate the status of cycling so that even more people can enjoy the benefits to their health, the environment and their wallets." The bid, made to the Department for Transport's Cycle City Ambition Grant scheme, also includes proposals to create six new 20mph zones in busy residential areas and near to schools. It would also pay for 500 new bike parking racks in neighbourhood shopping areas and new cycle route signs. Cyclist Steve Daniels, who owns Naked Bikes in Burnmoor Street, Leicester, and cycles in from East Goscote each day, said: "It all sounds brilliant and a cycle lane along the Golden Mile would be great for me. "I've been nearly knocked off three times this year already on that stretch of road." An announcement on whether Leicester's bid has been has been successful is expected in late June.

New bid for £6.6 million cycle path improvements


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