East Midlands - A563
Road: A563 - Where: The main Leicester Ring Road
Why do it?
For a city, Leicester has a surprisingly beautiful and tree-lined ring road that varies from single-lane urban main road to (mostly) two lanes and sometimes three lanes running through pretty countryside, particularly in its western and northern sections.
Where does it go?
Going anti-clockwise and starting at the University of Leicester where the A563 intersects with the south-bound A6, you’ll pass by the racecourse, through Knighton Park and over the pretty River Soar valley. You’ll then swing north to run parallel with the M1, past Braunstone Park, along the appropriately-named New Parks Way (which is its fastest section and where a lot of accidents take place) and over the A50. Then past Beaumont Park, over the start of the north-bound A6 before running through Humberstone and hitting the A47, where the ring road ends.
What to watch out for?
- It’s going to be very busy during commuter rush hours.
- Pork Pie roundabout in the western section – it’s got three lanes.
- There are several tricky junctions were oncoming cars will be waiting to turn across your path and may not see you. The main traffic lights at West Knighton are a good example, as are those at the north-bound A6 junction.
- Watch out when you’re on Attlee Way in the western section– there’s a row of shops on one side, and a large residential area on the right – so pedestrians are often attempting to cross.
Top tip: On many parts of the A563 you are riding in among traffic on a fast, dual and occasionally three lane main road which is going to test your filtering skills.
IAM RoadSmart is the UK's leading road safety charity and advocate, helping to improve driving and riding skills through courses and coaching. It achieves this through a national network of qualified instructors and experts, as well as an army of volunteers organised into 200 local groups.
The Swinton View on Riding the A563
Although motorcyclists make up just one per cent of road traffic, they account for nearly one in every five road-user deaths. Because you’re more vulnerable on the road riding a motorbike, it’s hugely important you take every precaution to stay safe.
Wear the right safety gear, know your route, plan for the weather, and give yourself plenty of time to finish your ride without rushing. It’s also vital that you’re fully insured and that your motorbike insurance policy covers everything you need it to. Enjoy the ride!