Pensioner Pat Pike takes on Leicester mayor at meeting about A426 bus lanes plan
Pensioner Pat Pike took on city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby in a row over bus lanes.
The 5ft 2in grandmother left Sir Peter and the rest of the public meeting in Aylestone in no doubt as to her feelings about a £5 million project along the A426, from Blaby into the city.
Pat, 61, told the mayor at the Aylestone community meeting on Tuesday night: "We don't want you coming down here spoiling our roads.
"We live here, you don't. No-one wants or needs this bus lane.
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"Please just take your bus lane and go away."
Mrs Pike's comments sparked a round of applause from members of the 50-strong audience at Gilmorton community rooms, in Hopyard Close.
The city mayor, accompanied by his deputy Rory Palmer, spoke at the meeting and defended his decision to give the scheme the go-ahead.
Residents opposing the bus lanes scheme formed Glen Parva and Aylestone Action Group and organised a petition that had more than 4,000 signatures.
People living along the route said the narrowing of pavements to bring in dedicated bus lanes would be a danger to pedestrians.
Mrs Pike, a former hosiery worker who lives in Aylestone, just off the bus route, said the mayor had ignored the opinion of people like her who had signed the petition.
Sir Peter said he had taken the residents' opinions into account before he made his decision about the bus lanes.
He told the meeting: "The public consultation process is now over.
"It was not a referendum, it was not a vote. The views expressed in the consultation were just one factor I took into account before making the decision to give the scheme the go-ahead.
"I think the bus lanes project represents extremely good value for money for Leicester City Council. Bus journey times will be cut and improvements made to roads and junctions along the route."
After being told to go away by Mrs Pike, the city mayor responded with: "I hope you don't seriously suggest that the council should just walk away from this project.
"There are plenty of people who want these bus lanes."
After the meeting, Mrs Pike said she did not regret speaking out. She said: "I have never done anything like this before but I felt so angry about it.
"I just feel the powers that be have not listened."
Leicester City Council is to contribute £1.5 million to the project. Leicestershire County Council is putting in £600,000, with bus firm Arriva adding £300,00 and the Government £2.5 million.