Councillors have criticised their rivals for failing to back a new road campaign.

Brighton and Hove Conservatives have described moves by their rivals not to support a new campaign for A27 improvements as “astonishing”.

Conservative councillors put forward a motion at Thursday’s full council meeting calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to support the new road campaign which is already backed by many other local councils, MPs and business figures but failed to get sufficient support.

Environmental groups and cyclist campaigners had urged councillors prior to the meeting not to back the motion warning of the damage more road building could inflict on the South Downs National Park.

Group leader Councillor Geoffrey Theobald said of his Labour opponents: “The only reason they were able to give for voting against our motion was that ‘most of it (the A27) falls outside the area of Brighton and Hove’.

“How short-sighted and parochial can you get? Our future economic growth and prosperity depends upon modern and reliable transport links in the whole of the South East and if they can’t see that then they have serious problems.”