Agenda and minutes

Economic Development, Transport and Climate Emergency Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday, 18 October 2023 5:30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room G.01, Ground Floor, City Hall, Leicester, LE1 1FZ

Contact: Scrutiny Policy Officer - Anita Patel - Email: / 0116 454 6342  Democratic Support Officer- Aqil Sarang - Email: / 0116 454 5591

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received by Cllr O’Neill.

The City Mayor and Deputy City Mayor for climate, economy and culture also gave apologies.



Members will be asked to declare any interests they may have in the business to be discussed on the agenda.


The Chair asked members of the commission to declare any interests in the proceedings. Cllr Porter declared that he actively campaigned against the introduction of 24/7 bus lanes in Aylestone ward.



The minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 21 September 2023 are attached and Members are asked to confirm them as correct record.


The Chair highlighted that there were no outstanding actions from previous meetings and that all information requested has been circulated to Members of the Commission. 

It was also noted that the Cllr Osman had provided apologies for the meeting on 21 September and requested this be amended in the minutes. 


·       Subject to the above change, it was agreed that the minutes for the meeting on 21 September 2023 were a correct record.



The Monitoring Officer to report on any questions, representations and statements of case received in accordance with Council procedures.


The Monitoring Officer noted that none had been received.



The Monitoring Officer to report on any petitions received in accordance with Council procedures.


The Monitoring Officer noted that none had been received.



The Chair has agreed to take the following items as urgent business to allow the applications to be considered within the statutory time periods.


·       Bus Lanes Update

·       TRO – A6 Corridor Bus Lane Scheme

·       Rally Park Active Improvement Project

·       Work Programme


The Chair noted that for procedural reasons, as the papers were not published five clear working days in advance, the items for discussion were classified as urgent.



The Director of Planning, Development and Transportation submitted a report to provide the Commission with an update on the city’s bus priority and bus lane networks.

Additional documents:


The Director of Planning, Development and Transportation introduced the item highlighting that bus lanes have been a feature in the city for up to fifty years. It was noted that lots of cities have introduced bus lanes over many years as they are an integral part of strategies for public transport and in responding to climate change by way of reducing congestion and improving air quality.


The City Transport Director presented the item. It was noted that:


·       Bus priority comprises of bus gates and bus lanes. The bus lane network comprises of thirteen key routes across the city serving all 44 main bus services.

·       The purpose of bus priority measures is to improve punctuality and reduce journey time, therefore increasing patronage by becoming an attractive alternative for modal shift. This allows for more efficient usage of road space and the management of traffic flow on the network.

·       Many improvements have been seen following the introduction of bus lanes as data included within the agenda pack indicates for Groby Road, Abbey Park Road, Aylestone Road and Melton Road.

·       Leicester is the eleventh highest for bus journeys outside of London, with 33% of households not having access to a private vehicle.

·       The majority of bus services in the city are commercially operated which enables the Authority to subsidise strategic routes such as Park and Ride, Hop and Orbital.

·       Research by the Department for Transport suggests service reliability and cost are the key barriers to bus usage. Local surveys have also found that people want punctual buses, they believe bus lanes help reliability and want more frequent day time services. The £2 bus fare cap is helping with affordability and the role of the Authority is to improve service reliability.

·       The Enhanced Leicester Bus Partnership was established with a vision to improving five key service areas: electric, frequent, reliable, easy and great value. Bus lanes support the frequent and reliable areas. The Partnership has enabled strong investment from bus operators within the city.

·       Increasing use of cars on the transport network is creating congestion and pollution. Modal shift is therefore important to encouraging bus use, preventing congestion, and improving pollution with carbonised buses.

·       There is no evidence that bus lanes cause pollution, and the use of 24/7 bus lanes cause less confusion. Some existing bus lanes that operate during specific times will therefore require review.

·       All monies received through enforcement of bus lanes is reinvested into the transport network. When new cameras are installed, contraventions of a bus lane will initially receive a warning before fines become operational. The appeals process follows national guidance.

·       Conclusions by the Bus Lanes Scrutiny Review in April 2016 outlined within the presentation remain true today regarding increasing car usage, bus punctuality, journey time and patronage.

·       Congestion is mainly caused at junctions reaching capacity and this is likely to worsen as car usage increased. Bus lanes end before junctions to allow vehicle to queue and traffic to flow which was demonstrated via a video.


The Director of Planning,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.



The Director of Planning, Development and Transportation submitted a report on the proposed Traffic Regulation Order for the A6, St. Margarets Way and Abbey Lane.

Additional documents:


The Director for Planning, Development and Transportation introduced the item to highlight that the revised process enabled proposed TRO reports to be considered by the Commission instead of the Planning Committee. It was further highlighted that comments made by Members would be considered by the Director alongside consultation responses to determine whether to proceed or make changes.


The Team Leader for Central Area presented the item, and it was noted that:

·       The proposal is to introduce a series of 24/7 bus lanes in both directions along the A6 corridor, between Burleys Way and Red Hill Circle. It is identified as a strategic route into the city whereby punctuality standards of the three main services are currently below the standard expected.

·       Traffic modelling has taken place along with discussions with bus operators to identify where most congestion arises in order to locate sections of bus lane in the most beneficial locations to improve reliability and punctuality.

·       The TRO was advertised in July 2023, leaflets were delivered directly to around three thousand homes and was publicised via social media and local news. Over 100 responses were received opposed to scheme along with some general support. Most themes identified within comments opposing the scheme related to congestion, pollution and not requiring bus lanes out of peak hours.

In response to questions and comments from Members, it was noted that:

·       There had been a larger response to the consultation in comparison with other schemes with most opposed to the proposal. However, each scheme is very different and the number of responses received was low compared with the number of users of the route.

·       An objectors meeting could be a potential option for consideration for further engagement regarding the scheme. It could also address common themes outlined within objections.

·       The scheme is identified to be funded through the Transforming Cities Fund for which funding is allocated to specific schemes although not ringfenced.

·       Traffic modelling has been undertaken when developing the scheme and visual examples of how the flow of traffic will operate can be illustrated.

As part of the discussion Members comments included:

·       Further objector engagement should be considered by the Director for Planning, Development and Transportation as decision maker of the TRO proposal.

·       The proposed design of sections of bus lanes would have an overall negative impact on people choosing to come to Leicester city centre and is likely to lead to more congestion and therefore pollution. 

·       The funding required for the slight improvement in bus journey times would not be worthwhile given the impact to other road users.

·       The implementation of 24/7 bus lanes do not in themselves provide an attractive offer to encourage members of the public to choose the bus as an alternative to the private vehicle.

·       The proposal of a red route and associated enforcement would prevent private vehicles being able to drop off, pick up or load.

·       Bus lanes should be implemented at specific times as opposed to 24/7.

The Chair noted that she had read each response and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.



The Director of Planning, Development and Transportation submits a report providing the initial details of the proposed Rally Park access improvement project.

Additional documents:


The City Transport Director presented the item to outline the initial details of the Rally Park Scheme following a successful £1.8m bid as part of Round 4 of the Active Travel Fund. It was noted that:

·       The grant includes a target for the scheme to be under construction by April 2024. The service is currently designing the scheme with the intention to consult later in the year with a target to be on site during spring.

·       The successful bid has been allocated specifically for the Rally Park Active Improvement Project. It has been identified as a strategic priority to provide access with the existing Connecting Leicester network.

·       Rally Park currently has no dedicated cycling provision. The pathway is a shared space and in poor condition. There is also poor visibility and crime concerns in the area. The intention of the scheme is to provide better surfacing, desire lines and improve the Park as a green space and travel corridor to increase use.

Members were supportive of the scheme and requested further details be shared once the design had been developed. Other comments were made to be considered in the design process including:

·       For trees not to be removed unnecessarily and if appropriate consideration be given to raising the canopy line. If trees are required to be removed, that they be replaced.

·       Sufficient security and lighting be promoted to ensure safety and visibility.

·       To identify whether there are any voluntary organisations that could enable a biodiversity gain whilst also making it an improved destination.

·       Clear routes and focus to ensure there is not a conflict between open space to be enjoyed and a cycle-way.


·       The Commission noted the report.

·       Members comments be noted for consideration as part of design process.

·       The Commission be provided with further details of the designed scheme.




For Members’ consideration, the work programme for the Commission is attached.


The Chair noted a special meeting has been arranged for 16 November 2023 to discuss the Climate Change Strategy Plan to ensure comments by the Commission can be considered during the consultation period.

It was further highlighted by the Chair that three meeting dates had been arranged for a Task Group, in which all Members of the Commission are invited as agreed at the previous meeting, to look in more detail at 20mph streets. The meetings intend to review the scope, gather evidence from stakeholders and conclude with findings and recommendations. All meetings are to take place via Teams.


Members of the Commission were invited to inform the Chair of any further items to be considered for the Work Programme.


There being no further business, the meeting closed at 19.40.