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City transport now and in the future

Deputy Mayor of Leicester Councillor Adam Clarke is also the lead on transport and the environment. He gave a very wide-ranging but detailed presentation on the city’s transport policies now and in the future over Zoom to a meeting of Novus Rotary.

One of the most startling facts at the stat of the presentation was that congestion costs the avaerage driver more than £1,000 a year. For reasons to do with finance, health and the environment, the city aims to be Net-Zero carbon by the year 2030.

He said the city is learning from various organisations and other cities, including Paris, which aims to reduce journeys to 15 minutes.

Among the two dozen slides he showed was one which illustrated a charging point for electric vehicles on lampposts which is being piloted in the Clarendon Park and Westcotes areas of the city with the help of a firm called Charg-y. One Novus member — a brand-new owner of a battery-operated car — later said he had spotted there did not seem to be a means of payment. To the member’s chagrin, Councillor Clarke reported that payment is necessary but via a subscription or a pay-as-you-go basis.

Councillor Clarke said it was necessary for charge points for the private hire and taxi businesses. The city council, he said, had bought a fleet of Nissan Leaf electric cars in 2016 and had a mobile library Bookbus EV. The 11 electric buses serving the city’s three park and ride sites had been named after Leicester City’s starting XI.

Sedum-roofed bus shelters were not only absorbing carbon in the atmosphere, but were providing corridors for bees and other pollinators.

Councillor Clarke spoke about the plans for the London Road train station and the need to increase connectivity, including introducing a free electric bus service from the station to other parts of the city.

With delight, he said that by taking down the Belgrave Road flyover the city had created places for people where there had been places for cars. The same had happened by transforming the surface level car park into Jubliee Square at the top of High Street.

Leicester, he said, had the biggest contiguous pedestrian are which also included cycle access.

He referred to the Santander electric bikes scheme which will eventually have 500 bikes and 50-pl;us docing stations (each docking station being able to recharge 10 bikes). The scheme was to have been officially launched before COVID by Olympian Jessica-Ennis Hill. “It has now been postponed more times than there are events in the heptathlon,” he joked.

Novus Rotary members have already built into their programme on September 16 an opportunity for members and guests to experience the Santander bikes scheme while exploring the Rocket trail

If you would like to join us, please use the “Contact Us” tab on this page. We hope that Councillor Clarke and maybe even the mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby who is known to be a very keen cyclist, will be free to join us.

The number of questions asked of Councillor Clarke demonstrated how keenly interested members had been in his presentation.

Last edited: 22:10 on Thursday, 12/08/2021