Council makes CPO to acquire land for bus improvement scheme
Published on 19 January 2018
LEICESTER City Council will use compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers to progress its plans for a new link road that would improve bus reliability and journey times out of the city centre.
The council has now made the order that – subject to confirmation from the Secretary of State for Transport – will grant it powers to acquire the land and access rights it needs for the scheme in the Belgrave Gate/Mansfield Street area.
Talks with the owners of the land required for the scheme – which comprises space currently used as car parks, and parts of access roads to properties facing Belgrave Gate and Church Gate – have been under way since 2014, but it has not been possible to acquire all the land through negotiation.
Letters have been sent to all those with a property interest who are affected by the scheme, advising them that the city council has now made the CPO and will be submitting it to the Secretary of State for Transport for confirmation.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) can only be used as a last resort, but – after three years trying to buy the land through negotiation – we’re ready to go down that route in order to deliver this vital scheme for the city.
“By creating this new road, we will be able to improve journey times for the thousands of people who use bus services each day and provide a much-improved direct pedestrian link between Leicester’s two bus stations.
“The new road is supported by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, which means we already have the funds in place to acquire the land and the access rights that we need for this major scheme.”
In order for the CPO to be brought into force, it must first be confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport. If there are objections to the CPO – which must be submitted to the Secretary of State before 16 February 2018 – a hearing or a public inquiry may be held to consider those objections.
More information about the CPO is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/belgraveCPO
The city council’s scheme would create a new road that would link Belgrave Gate with Mansfield Street, providing a much quicker route out of the city centre for buses leaving the Haymarket bus station. It would also enable Mansfield Street to be upgraded, making it suitable for buses and improving the environment for pedestrians.
With the new link road in place, buses would no longer need to use Haymarket and Church Gate – paving the way for the potential pedestrianisation of the two streets.
The new link road, together with an upgraded Sandacre Street, would also form a new pedestrian route between the city’s two bus stations.
Once work starts on site, the new road would take around eight months to build.