CYCLISTS fear being put off from getting in the saddle because of abusive motorists.

Campaigners say more investment into safe cycling lanes is needed in Brighton and Hove and Sussex.

It comes as reports by The Times and The Sunday Times showed that Brighton has some of the most unsafe roads for cycling in the country.

These include the A270 Lewes Road, which was ranked as the seventh worst road for accidents outside London by the Department for Transport.

Meanwhile Office for National Statistics Figures show that The Lanes and North Laine have had 63 recorded incidents in the past decade, making it among the worst places for accidents.

Most crashes occur at junctions, often where errant motorists fail to check their mirrors or look out for all oncoming traffic before pulling out into the road.

Bricycles, the campaign group for improving cycling routes and safety in Brighton, said some cyclists have reported being abused and rammed off the road.

Others have been left shaken and frightened in low level “road rage” incidents.

The group says the government’s plan to invest £2 billion for cycling infrastructure across the country is a small start and points out that £27 billion has been given to road and motorway expansion.

Spokesman Chris Williams said: “We have a long way to go before all roads are safe for cycling in Brighton.”

He said full width protected space of two metres is needed on major roads, along with enforced 20mph zones and protected space on commuter routes between towns across Sussex.

He said: “We do hear of serious collisions from time to time, caused by dangerous driving and leading to fractures and sometimes death, as well as road rage incidents where cyclists are verbally and physically attacked by drivers.

“However, what Bricycles most hears about from its members are smaller-scale incidents which have a big impact on people’s lives.

“It includes anything from regular close passes at speed, which frighten and shake cyclists, to being pushed off their bikes by slow-moving vehicles.It often results in bodily harm or receiving insults such as ‘get off the road’ from impatient motorists.

Any of these incidents can put someone off cycling for life. We need proper justice for cyclists who are impacted by dangerous driving.”

Brighton and Hove City Council's lead member for transport Pete West said: “Cycling is a great way of moving around our city. However, both pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable road users, and concerns about safety can prevent many from taking up these travel options.

“While the risk of being involved in a collision remains very low, and is far outweighed by the physical and mental health benefits, as we saw during lockdown, many people feel more able to cycle when the roads feel safer and better shared between everyone who needs them.

“It’s clear that we need safer roads for everyone, including more facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and less speeding traffic. We must also continue to promote cycle safety and awareness to cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. We all have a responsibility to share the roads.

“New temporary cycle lanes are making it easier and safer for cyclists to move around the city.

"We know active travel has the potential to make up a large proportion of every day journeys, but such potential will only be realised if people feel welcome and safe to share the road space.”