£1m investment will improve life for cyclists in Leicester
Cyclists are to benefit from more than £1 million of investment in the city.
Leicester railway station – the scene of several bike thefts – will be getting secure storage for 200 bikes, as well as changing rooms, thanks to £600,000 from the £15 million Linking Local Communities Fund.
East Midlands Trains will also use the money to install new lockers and build a bike shop at the station to turn it into a "high-capacity bike hub" for passengers.
The same fund is giving £217,000 to Leicester City Council to improve cycle paths, including the Great Central Way. The council will also be putting in £200,000 from its own funds.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Only this week I was talking about cycling priorities with Leicester Cycle Campaign Group, so this announcement couldn't have come at a better time.
"This cash will help us to fill some of the missing links in the city's cycle network and allow us to make significant improvements to the routes – widening cycle-ways where necessary, cutting back vegetation, improving surfaces and generally raising the standard.
"I am determined to do even more to make cycling attractive and safe in Leicester."
According to the city council, the number of people cycling each day in Leicester has doubled over the past five years to about 13,000.
However, the station has stands for only about 20 bikes and more can be seen each day chained to nearby railings.
Cyclist Jane Salt, 39, of Knighton, said it would be good to have more places for people to secure their bikes.
She said: "It's a nightmare at the moment. I use the station but I don't feel confident leaving my bike there – it's hard to find anything to lock it to. It seems a lot of money, though."
William Swinford, 22, of Braunstone, said: "It's getting a bit better at the station since they did all the work there – at least there's CCTV pointing at the bikes now. If they can do even more, that would be good."
John Smith, 24, also from Braunstone, is pleased more cash is being spent on bike tracks around the city.
He said: "I ride along the Great Central Way quite a bit and it's good they are going to make it better along there.
"It would be good if they could put jumps in – there's only one decent bike park in Leicester and I'd like them to spend more on that sort of thing."
Jonny Wiseman, route manager for East Midlands Trains said: "The funding is great news for passengers and will allow us to build even further on the improvements already made at Leicester station.
"We have been working closely with the city council and Network Rail on our plans for a cycle hub and look forward to developing this in further detail.
"East Midlands Trains has already invested heavily in cycle facilities across the route with introduction of hundreds of additional cycle spaces."