LABOUR has been accused of “back-pedalling” by a cycling campaign group.

The group of Brighton and Hove City councillors oversaw a government bid for the current cycle lanes under a “Tranche 1” bid.

The lane on the Old Shoreham Road has been blamed for bringing traffic to a halt at peak hours.

The lane on the A259 seafront road has also been seen as causing congestion as well as disproportionately affecting disabled people.

Critics point to an apparent lack of consultation with key groups during the bidding process, as well as their implementation.

But now the Greens want to extend the routes under a “Tranche 2” bid to the government, the Labour councillors behind the first bid have called for an immediate halt to their implementation.

They want a more thorough consultation with residents, businesses and disabled groups in the city.

But Bricycles, a Brighton and Hove cycling campaign, said it has written numerous emails to councillors and MPs, setting out “clear research-based evidence” that shows how a safe cycle network can beat congestion.

Chris Williams, spokesman for the campaign, said: “Following a long period of silence, they’ve started talking to us, and we’re grateful for this.

“However, they still won’t tell us what extra evidence they need, or why they need to back-pedal on making our streets safe for cycling.

“We’ve offered to take councillors and MPs on cycle rides as we believe it’s hard to comment on safety unless you experience it for yourself. No one has taken us up, although the offer still stands.

“Vehicle access for emergency services and key workers is hampered across the UK due to excess vehicles, not cycle lanes.

“Change takes time, but the proof is there, in cities such as London, where east-west cycle lanes now transport five times as many people as the equivalent car lanes. Cycling and walking improvements increase high street retail sales by 30 per cent.”

Labour say they had to act quickly to meet government deadlines to secure Tranche 1 funding for schemes.

“It was always the case that we would review the progress and impact of these Tranche 1 changes,” a Labour spokesman said.

But Labour now believes there is more time to consult with residents about the cycle lanes – and other measures such as the closure of Madeira Drive.

Gary Wilkinson, the party’s spokesman on transport, said: “Labour recognises the need for safe, active travel measures, especially as Covid has not gone away,

“That’s why we introduced temporary Covid lanes using emergency legislation and funds.

“We just want to ensure residents have a chance to consult on the next round of proposed changes, and that the administration is willing to listen.

“We have to ensure we don’t leave people behind, and changes are not rushed through without people feeling they had the chance to have their say and influence the process.”