DATA counts carried out on a controversial cycle lane show just how many cyclists are actually using the route.

In May last year, residents woke up to discover the new cycle route taking up two lanes of the A270 Old Shoreham Road, which is one of the main arteries into and out of Hove to the west of the city.

A traffic counter placed near the recycling centre in Hove in late-August reveals the number of cyclists and vehicles which are using the route.

Brighton and Hove City Council announced there had been a 61 per cent increase in cyclists on the Old Shoreham Road route since the cycle lane’s introduction last May.

It calculated this by comparing a seven-day video survey in July 2020 and a “manual count” from June, four years earlier.

The Department for Transport (DfT) count in 2016 was used as it was the recent figure for the route containing the new lane.

It found a difference of an average of 545 cyclists per day, compared with the DfT’s count of 358.

However, The Argus can now reveal that by comparing the 2016 count with figures taken in late-August, bicycle usage on the route had fallen by 27 per cent.

The traffic counter west of the recycling centre found a seven-day average of 260 in the week from August 31.

The following week, the seven days from September 7, there was an average of 338.

Campaigners have battled over the future of the lane with some wanting it made permanent and others wanting it scrapped.

Supporters of the scheme say it provides a safe way of cycling for the 30 per cent of households in the city who do not have a car.

Those against the scheme say it is little used and is causing congestion.

In the week from August 31, bicycles made up about 1.6 per cent of total traffic.

That is a seven-day average of 260 cycles and seven-day traffic average of 16,016.

However, the percentage of cyclists on the road increased during the four-week England lockdown in November.

The Conservative government is encouraging local councils to build the temporary lanes to enable people to physically distance while travelling.

In the week from November 16, cycles made up 1.8 per cent of total traffic.

That is a seven-day average of 267 cycles and seven-day traffic average of 14,266.

These findings were revealed in an Freedom of Information request from GMB Taxi representative, Andrew Peters.