IT’S SURPRISING that a group so vocal as the Valley Gardens Forum isn’t prepared to put its name to the letter attacking me over comments I made about the Aquarium roundabout (Argus letters, September 24).

This body supposedly started out as an inclusive body and indeed I spent some time listening to what they had to say.

Unfortunately, they were unable to come up with any rational alternatives to that proposed by the council.

For example, their suggestion of a cycle path through Pool Valley would have created real danger for people walking and cycling.

Indeed despite the claims that they wanted to improve the area and reduce traffic, the more I examined each aspect of what they didn’t like, the more I felt that they really didn’t want anything to change at all.

Apart from misquoting me, they say that I ignored the safety issue of the roundabout.

Well I wasn’t trying to tackle everything in one letter or it would have been as long and indigestible as theirs.

But rather than try and downplay the crash statistics by presenting them as a percentage of traffic, I prefer to think of them as real people who have potentially suffered life-changing injuries.

And what these statistics don’t tell you are the number of people who stay away from the junction because it feels so dangerous.

We should all get used to wild claims about Valley Gardens Phase 3 over the next few months.

We’ve already heard the claim that the council is creating a motorway on the eastern side of the gardens.

Now the scheme is supposedly going to poison the whole of east Brighton. I wonder what fantasy will be the next soundbite?

Finally, while rubbishing the council’s case for the latest scheme, they seem to have complete faith in the council’s work that it did on other options.

Cake and eat it comes to mind.

Indeed they claim this other version would lead to less pollution, less traffic and more space for walking and cycling. What more need I say? If one scheme will reduce traffic, then likely others will as well and with reduced traffic you have less need for so much road space, or even, dare I suggest it, a roundabout.

Chris Todd, Planning & Transport Campaigner Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth