Work set to start on bus lanes along the A426 from Blaby into Leicester
Work on a controversial project to install bus lanes on one of the busiest routes into Leicester will begin on Monday.
Thousands of people objected to the £5 million project, jointly run by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, and Arriva.
County Hall, who approved the scheme first in December, have said it would ease congestion along the A426 from Blaby into the city.
From Sunday night, lanes on the Glen Parva stretch of the road will be narrowed and traffic lights could be installed, with work on water pipes and cables in the pavement and street set to begin the following day.
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This work will continue until April, when more intensive work will start in Glen Parva between Grange Drive and Soar Valley Way, and in Aylestone between Marsden Lane and Hall Lane.
Officers at Leicestershire County Council said the 24-hour bus lanes would make buses more reliable, ease congestion and make the road safer for cyclists.
But residents said the work was unnecessary and disputed claims it would cut journey times by between 15 minutes and half an hour.
Sylvia Tucker, 68, of Leicester Road, Glen Parva, was one of 4,000 residents who signed a petition opposing the plans.
She said: "It is simply not necessary. I caught a bus to and from the city every day for 30 years before I retired and there was never a problem."
Leicestershire County Council, which approved the plans in December, said a number of changes had been made as a result of feedback from residents.
The work will be paid for by a £2.5 million Government grant, supplemented by £1.5 million from the city council, £595,000 from the county council and £290,000 from Arriva.
Lesley Pendleton, county council spokesman for environment and transport said: "We believe this work will improve bus journey times and service reliability and relieve congestion on a key route."