Live updates

Mixed views over plans to revamp Leicester's Golden Mile

Every year tens of thousands of people from all over the world make their way to Leicester's Golden Mile for the Diwali festivities.

Now the famous road might be completely revamped as part of plans to make the area cleaner and greener.

But as Rajiv Popat's been finding out, residents and businesses have mixed views about the best way forward.

Leicester's Golden Mile set for major revamp

Golden Mile in Leicester Credit: ITV Central

Local residents and businesses could have a say in how Leicester's Golden Mile is redeveloped.

Leicester City Council is considering how the busy area could be improved for traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, as well as what could be done to make it a more attractive commercial centre.

Problems that have been linked to the area include:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Poor air quality
  • Too many traffic lights
  • Narrow pavements
  • Difficult access for pedestrians and cyclists

"There is no doubt that the Golden Mile suffers as a result of the dominance of traffic in the area. It is noisy and often congested which makes it difficult for pedestrians, especially elderly or disabled people, to cross. Air quality along the road is also often poor.

"We need to find a way of redressing this imbalance. It is a very important route into the city, but that needs to be balanced against the benefits of making the whole area more pleasant for businesses, residents and visitors."

– City Mayor Peter Soulsby

Plans are now being drawn up for a major revamp of the Golden Mile, with local people able to submit their ideas over the next few months through workshops and exhibitions in December and February.


Mayor tries to spruce up Leicester's Golden Mile

The Golden Mile ahead of Diwali celebrations Credit: ITV News Central

The Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, will join business owners and residents from the Melton Road area of the Golden Mile on a walkabout later. He is visiting to see how the area can be improved.

Ideas already suggested include sprucing up shop fronts, providing new street benches and putting in new street lighting.

Belgrave Flyover demolition expected to cause travel delays

Traffic delays are expected as work to demolish the Belgrave Road flyover is due to start on Saturday February 15. The road will be closed from Saturday February 1.

The structure which was built 40 years ago, is due to be knocked down next month as part of plans to redevelop the Golden Mile.

Belgrave Flyover Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

It could take between two to three months to complete the work. A public consultation ends January 29.

Belgrave Flyover Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, in Melton Road, is hosting a drop-in session on Friday from 2pm to 6pm.

Biggest Diwali celebration outside India

The Golden Mile in Leicester will be hosting the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India Credit: ITV Central

Thousands of people in the Midlands will take to the streets tonight to celebrate Diwali. Leicester's Golden Mile is hosting the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India.

There will be a fireworks display to celebrate the festival of light.

  1. Nimesh Joshi

Thousands attend Golden Mile Diwali lights switch-on celebrations

Thousands of people attended this year's Diwali light switch-on celebrations in Leicester.

Crowds at the annual event, held on the city's Golden Mile (Belgrave Road), were treated to an array of colourful and exciting performances by dancers, who showcased both traditional and contemporary styles.

Leicester MPs Keith Vaz, Liz Kendall and Jon Ashworth were among those taking to the stage to welcome people to the event.

The Chief Constable of Leicestershire, Simon Cole, thanked those who took part in the donor drive held to find a match for Rik Basra, the police officer who has taken part in a campaign to encourage more prospective South Asian donors to come forward after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Rik and wife Kas held the first of a series of public events to recruit potentially life-saving blood stem cell donors to the national register, maintained by the Anthony Nolan charity.

Volunteers from the charity were also out in force, encouraging people to register as prospective donors at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre.

Sir Peter Soulsby among the guests who led the switch-on Credit: ITV Central
The switch-on brightens up the Golden Mile Credit: ITV Central
Belgrave Road after the lights were switched on Credit: ITV Central
Leicester MPs Keith Vaz, Liz Kendall and Jon Ashworth welcomed the crowds Credit: ITV Central
Dancers in colourful outfits entertain thousands of onlookers Credit: ITV Central
Performances on stage entertained crowds ahead of the switch-on Credit: ITV Central
Dancers performed traditional and contemporary Indian dances Credit: ITV Central
Performances on stage entertained crowds ahead of the switch-on Credit: ITV Central
Leicestershire's Chief Constable thanks potential bone marrow donors Credit: ITV Central
People eagerly anticipate fireworks in Cossington Park Credit: ITV Central
Fireworks at Cossington Park Credit: ITV Central
Fireworks at Cossington Park Credit: ITV Central