THE deputy leader of the city council has described how a white van struck her in a Covid cycle lane.

Green councillor Hannah Clare said she was cycling on the Old Shoreham Road lane, Hove, when a white van turning into a petrol station struck her bike.

She said she has been left “shaken” by the incident, which happened at about 10.30am near the Shell garage.

The westbound Covid cycle lane was introduced last May in an effort to provide a socially-distant way to travel amid the pandemic.

“I am still alive after a white van driver decided that a cycle lane was actually a white van man lane and I am a silly cyclist who didn’t realise that,” she said.

The Argus: The Shell garage in Old Shoreham Road. Google Street view taken before the lane was installedThe Shell garage in Old Shoreham Road. Google Street view taken before the lane was installed

“The car turned into the lane going into the petrol station and hit me – I fell on my side, but did not fall to the floor.

“They did not shout to see if I was OK.

“However, another driver did when I reached the traffic lights.”

The Old Shoreham Road cycle lane has been subject to intense debate since its introduction.

The measure was built using government cash by the previous Labour minority administration – with support from the Greens.

However, a council survey on the controversial lane revealed the majority of people are against it remaining.

The Argus: Residents have raised concerns about its junction with Olive RoadResidents have raised concerns about its junction with Olive Road

The report showed 66 per cent of people would not be happy if the change is made permanent.

The council say there has been an increase in cyclists using the road with a report showing 545 cyclists are now using the Old Shoreham Road lane in Hove a day – up from 358.

Councillor Clare said: “This reinforces the need for something more permanent.

“I think this is driver behaviour, someone not paying attention to measures and driving into the cycle lane.

“There’s not much a council can do to mitigate that.

“I think I still would have been hit if the stretch of road was how it previously was .

“It’s much safer now.

“There is a consultation happening soon on the lanes’ future.

“I hope that as we go forward, cycling safety is paramount.”

Brighton and Hove City Council recently received £2.376 million from the government’s active travel fund to progress cycle lane schemes, on top of the previous government award of £663,000 in June.

Under the plans, the temporary protected cycle lanes on the A270 Old Shoreham Road would be extended with lanes from the Hangleton Road junction to near the western city border at Applesham Way and Wolseley Road.