Steps were taken to stop drivers pulling across cyclists' paths on Leicester's Newarke St bike track after two cyclists were hospitalised...

Bollards have been installed to stop cars crossing a Leicester bike lane after two cyclists were hospitalised following collisions.

Cyclists’ lives were being put at risk by drivers pulling across the two-way bike track on Newarke Street from Marble Street in the city centre, cycle campaigners warned.

After concerns were raised the city’s mayor, Peter Soulsby, who has overseen a series of cycle lanes installed in the centre of Leicester, had the junction blocked to motor traffic, the Leicester Mercury reports.

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Leicester Cycling Campaign spokesman, Eric Ludlow, told the Mercury: “The changes made to this junction remove a real threat to both pedestrians and cyclists.

"From the moment the cycle track opened, it became obvious that people's lives were at risk from drivers exiting on to Newarke Street across the footpath and cycle track.

"We know of at least two cyclists who were hospitalised after being hit in this way, and we have received countless reports of near-misses.

"The junction was a death trap and we have been lobbying the city council to get it changed.

"We are delighted to see that action has now been taken."

The Newarke St bike track is one of a number of protected bike routes being built in Leicester as part of a plan to tackle congestion and revitalise the city centre by building public squares and restricting motor traffic access.

LCCG says it would like to see a junction on the Granby St bike lane tackled after a series of reported near misses between those on bikes and motor traffic.

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby says this has begun to be tackled and cites a “steep increase” in cycling since the protected lane was installed. He told the Mercury: "The recent work on Marble Street is an example of how we can positively address issues that might affect the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

"We are also aware of safety concerns regarding the cycleway on Granby Street at the junction with Northampton Street.

"Work to alter the junction has been carried out, and signage is now much clearer to remind motorists of their responsibility to give way.

"Our traffic counts indicate a steep increase in the number of cyclists using Granby Street – from around 257 in 2010 to over 620 last year.

"We will continue to monitor this junction and look at whether any further improvements can be made on Granby Street."