A GREEN councillor has apologised after saying she laughed at cars queueing to get into a tip.

Sarah Nield, who represents Withdean ward on Brighton and Hove City Council, said her tweet about motorists lining up to enter Hove tip, off Old Shoreham Road, was “viewed in very poor taste”.

The Tories have accused the councillor of “mocking residents” stuck in traffic because of the introduction of the new cycle lane.

Speaking about the opening of the recycling centre to cyclists and pedestrians, she tweeted: “(I) took three big bags of stuff to Hove recycling centre on foot at 3pm.

“Got straight in, all worked smoothly, laughed at queue of cars on our way out.

The Argus:

“Also, (I) counted 28 cyclists on Old Shoreham Road new cycle lanes while walking from Hove Park to tip and back.”

The comment was accused of “mocking” drivers stuck in traffic jams on Old Shoreham Road.

Cllr Neild said: “I apologise for any offence this tweet may have caused to anyone driving to the tip – my comment was not on the Old Shoreham Road but intended to reflect the changes to Hove tip, that had been closed during Covid-19.

The Argus:

“Very recently the access to the tip changed to allow access by foot and by bike, where previously it had been inaccessible to these users. With pedestrian and cycle access restored I visited the tip and was pleased to find myself able to walk in and avoid the queues being created by the necessary Covid-19 restrictions.

“However I now recognise the comment was viewed in poor taste towards people who need to drive – even when this was not my intention.”

The Argus:

The Conservative Group have spoken out against the Green councillor’s tweet.

Conservative Hangleton and Knoll Councillor Dawn Barnett, who has been concerned about the impact of the temporary cycle measures in her ward, said the comment was “revealing of the attitude the Greens held towards residents that have to use cars in the city”.

She said: “Residents in my ward are stuck in traffic as a result of this temporary cycle lane that was brought in, in an underhanded way without consultation with residents.

The Argus:

“It is disgraceful that this councillor is laughing at residents who are suffering the effects of this. I’m sure that if those drivers were less abled, senior folk, people trying to earn a living, carers, blue badge holders or families, she wouldn’t be laughing.”

Conservative transport spokesman councillor Lee Wares said: “Aside the distasteful tweet, it shows why there is an urgent need for comprehensive impact assessments to be carried out on the temporary cycle lanes.”