On Friday 20 November 2020 Cabinet members discussed a blueprint setting out the key, long-term approach to transport priorities for the city and county over the next 30 years.
Earlier this year, there was a consultation on Leicester and Leicestershire’s Strategic Transport Priorities (LLSTP).
The report said that most people agreed with the principle of the county council and the city council working together to produce an agreed framework for delivering common priorities.
The LLSTP outlines where the two authorities can work together in delivering the transport initiatives and infrastructure to support growth, particularly around tackling the effects of climate change, alongside continued support for the local economy and jobs.
It also acknowledged the need to understand and then review changes in patterns of travel behaviour because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another key thread of the LLSTP is a big push to improve rail services. The report outlines that while services to East Midlands’ cities such as Derby and Nottingham are good, improvements are needed in reaching West Midlands cities such as Coventry and Birmingham.
We have to ensure that Leicester and Leicestershire’s transport system is capable of helping to address the significant challenges that we face over the coming years, as well as ensuring we continue to support each other and our communities to recover from the Covid-19 pandemicPerson:Councillor Trevor Pendleton, county council cabinet member for highways and transport
The Cabinet paper also reflected on a report by Midlands Connect, the organisation that explores, develops and recommends transport strategies and projects to boost local economies, which details an in-depth study into the A46 in the Leicester area.
The Midlands Connect study looked at whether it is appropriate to invest in the existing corridor – junction 21 to 21a of the M1, the Leicester Western Bypass and Hobby Horse roundabout – rather than a new strategic route around the south and east of Leicester.
The study says that, in addition to investment required in the M1/Leicester Western By-Pass to support shorter-term housing growth, new road infrastructure is needed around the south and east of Leicester to support longer term housing growth. However, it would not need to be of expressway standard.
It concluded that, while recognising that an expressway is not needed for long-distance trips, the need for infrastructure to support growth - as proposed in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan (LLSGP) - remains in this part of the county.
Mr Pendleton, who is also chairman of the LLSGP's Members Advisory Group, said: "We’ve been aware of the concerns raised about the impact of a proposed expressway. However, the fact remains that we’ve still got to provide 140,000 homes over the next 30 years to meet Government target.
"The conclusions drawn by Midlands Connect only hold true if the planned growth to the south and east of the city is delivered as outlined in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan (LLSGP).
“We face a huge challenge to meet that target and now the work starts to better understand the transport improvements needed to accommodate the growth in the approved LLSGP in the medium and long term.”
The meeting can be viewed on our Committee Meetings YouTube channel