Leicester Welford Road cycle lane trial counter protest

Protestors in Welford Road
Image caption Cyclists held a protest in Welford Road, Leicester, after a petition against a trial lane closure was started

Cyclists held a mass protest in support of a cycle lane along a busy city commuter route after a petition opposing the scheme was set up.

Leicester City Council closed a lane on Welford Road last month to test the lane.

Motorists claimed it was causing traffic chaos and a petition against it has been signed by 1,200 people.

Cyclists said the trials will help to improve Leicester's air quality, which is one of the worst in Europe.

One lane on Welford Road, one of the busiest routes in and out of the city centre, was closed last month in a scheme called Connecting Leicester.

Image caption Motorists said congestion in Leicester is already bad and temporary closure is making it worse

Mark Radymski, who set up the petition, said: "I'd love to see some new cycle provisions to get to places safely, however I don't think the situation is as bad as people make out.

"The petition is to remove the test. We're asking for it to be reviewed - is it in the correct place or not? I'm not the expert."

Elizabeth Barner, from Leicester Cycling Campaign Group, said the protest had strong support from Healthy Air Leicester and Leicestershire, the Green Party and national cycle groups.

"The scheme has improved Leicester," she said.

"People who are new to cycling say I will not cycle on the roads as they are now and what I'm beginning to hear is, 'Yes, I could go out and commute other than in my car'."

The council admitted there were congestion problems during rush hour but said it is an experiment needed as it tries to make the roads "fit for all".

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