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1,000 protesters call for Blaby to Leicester bus lanes to be scrapped


Protesters have criticised plans to tackle congestion along a major road, claiming the addition of bus lanes will make matters worse.

About 100 people took a part in a demonstration on Saturday against proposals for the A426 between Blaby and the city centre.

The £5 million scheme, due to be implemented next year, will see the introduction of bus lanes and junction alterations in Glen Parva and Aylestone.

It is designed to cut bus journey times and encouraging more people to use them.

Opponents argue the lanes will make the road more dangerous and are a waste of money.

Glen Parva Action Group handed over a petition with 1,404 signatures objecting to the scheme to officials at County Hall on Friday, at the end of a 26-day public consultation.

Andrea Gee, 38, of Lutterworth Road, Aylestone, joined protesters at Carver's Corner, in Glen Parva, on Saturday.

"My main concern is safety," she said. "To fit the bus lanes in they are narrowing traffic lanes to 3m, the minimum allowed, and pavements to just 1.8m.

"The buses and their big wing mirrors are even more likely to clip a pedestrian or cyclist.

"If anything, they should spend the money on cycle lanes."

Simon Herbert, 46, of Lutterworth Road, said: "The bus lanes won't be continuous so the buses will be weaving in and out of traffic, making accidents more likely and holding everyone up.

"Instead of reducing congestion, they will add to it."

Sylvia Tucker, of Leicester Road, Glen Parva, said: "What's the point of all this disruption just to save a measly few minutes on a bus journey? The whole thinking behind it is flawed."

The work will be paid for by a £2.5 million Government grant, supplemented by £1.5 million from the city council, £595,000 from the county council and £290,000 from Arriva.

Glen Parva parish councillor Richard Johnson said: "The road doesn't need bus lanes.

"They (county council) terminated the 73 service and Arriva reduced the number of buses from eight to six at peak times, all in the past year, so where is the demand for buses?

"It's a waste of taxpayers' money."

Aylestone city councillor Nigel Porter said: "Bus lanes in Hinckley Road and other parts of the city have made no difference at all.

"Getting more people to use public transport is about bus fares, not bus lanes."

However, Rory Palmer, deputy city mayor with responsibility for transport, said: "It is aimed at increasing the use of public transport and reducing congestion, which is particularly desperate around the Soar Valley Way/Glenhills Way crossroads.

"We need to do something and have that opportunity with the Government grant secured."

A protest meeting will take place tonight, at 7.30pm, in the Black Horse pub, Aylestone.

1,000 protesters call for  Blaby to Leicester bus lanes to be scrapped

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