Nearly £8 million is given to Leicester for new transport schemes

Leicester’s £7.84 million grant is the result of the city council’s successful bid for a share of £60 million of DfT funding for schemes in 2019/20.

Leicester, UK has been awarded nearly £8 million of Department for Transport funding for a range of city transport schemes.

The bid has secured investment for two major projects, focusing on creating an extensive cycling network and bike-hire scheme, and bringing in a fleet of electric buses on one of the city’s three Park and Ride routes.

Around £6.25 million will fund the development of a network of high-quality walking and cycling links, which will connect the city centre to the universities, neighbourhoods and other key areas of the city.

Some £500,000 of that will be used to create a new public bike-hire scheme, with approximately 500 bikes available for hire from more than 50 docking stations across the city.

It is hoped the bike-hire scheme will be up and running in late 2019.

A further £1.6 million has been agreed to electrify the Park and Ride service running between Birstall and the city centre, along with the associated infrastructure allowing the electric vehicles to be charged overnight.

The service is designed to cut congestion on the busy A6 corridor, working with the bus company to replace existing diesel vehicles with new electric buses to help cut air pollution in the city.

In addition to nearly £8 million of DfT funding, the city council and partners will contribute funding for the schemes.

City Mayor, Peter Soulsby, said: “This announcement is fantastic news and allows us to move ahead with these two very significant and ambitious sustainable transport schemes, which offer real, clean alternatives to car travel in the city as well as improved transport links.

“The prospect of a bike-hire scheme is a very interesting one, which could make a real difference to the way people travel within the city. Electrifying the Park and Ride services, starting with the route from Birstall, is a huge step forward in using clean and efficient technology in public transport.”

Currently, about 17,000 daily cycle trips are made in and out of the city. As part of the successful DfT bid, work will now take place to develop better cycling and walking routes both to the north and south of the city centre, as well as more secure cycle parking.

Councillor Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor for Environment and Public Health, said: “Our bids, which the DfT has agreed to fund, are key to making sustainable transport in the city more accessible and more attractive to people. We are committed to improving air quality, cutting carbon emissions and further developing sustainable travel in the city, and we can now move forward with these ambitious schemes.”

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