With Brighton and Hove City Council holding a survey on cycle lanes campaigner Angela Devas says we need to keep the one on Old Shoreham Road.

I was thrilled to receive my call for the Covid-19 vaccination; I was also thrilled for another reason – my vaccination hub was in Portslade and I would be able to get there quickly and safely along the Old Shoreham Road segregated bike lane. Previously most of this road was far too dangerous to cycle, with me, at my stately pace, struggling alongside cars and lorries belching out horrible fumes and hurtling past me at speeds I find terrifying.

I could have taken the bus to Portslade – I have a bus pass for which I am very thankful – but that would have meant travelling in close proximity to other people. It’s also less convenient with an icy wait at the bus stop.

Feeling safe is so important if we are to make cycling more popular and segregated cycle lanes do that.

I do realise how horrible and disconcerting it can be when cyclists ride on pavements – and this has happened to me – but it is nothing compared to when cars overtake you on a bicycle with inches to spare or beep their horns angrily just because you are riding in the road or swerve in front of you forcing you to stop suddenly.

Cycle lanes in Old Shoreham Road

Cycle lanes in Old Shoreham Road

Despite the bitter east wind I arrived glowing at the health centre and could park my bike right outside the entrance.

The volunteers were very helpful and efficient and I was fifteen minutes early, most of which I spent in unwinding myself from all my outer clothes.

The fifteen minutes I had to wait after my jab were similarly employed in re-wrapping myself.

The icy wind now against me, I went back via the seafront – there is another new cycle lane there – and managed to deviate via a certain favourite cake shop of mine in Victoria Terrace, Hove and I bought a slice of Apple Charlotte cake to enjoy at home by way of celebration.

READ MORE: Shoreham could get permanent cycle lane after pop-up lane removed

Boris Johnson has reminded us all that one of the indicators of suffering badly from Covid, or even dying from it, is obesity, and we are in the middle of an obesity crisis.

Around three quarters of people aged 45-74 are overweight or obese.

Exercise, as Scarlett McNally, an orthopaedic surgeon from Eastbourne has told us, is a ‘magic pill’; but it is a pill we have to remember to take if it is to have any effect .

One of the best ways to get people to exercise is to make it functional – that is, something we do without thinking because it’s the easiest possible way of doing something.

I don’t have a car so the simplest way of getting to Portslade, even in that biting cold, was to get on my bicycle.

We need to make car journeys just a little bit more troublesome and make walking and cycling much easier and safer.

This is what doctors and medical professionals are telling us.

One in five children are obese when starting primary school and one of the key reasons is lack of activity.

There are eight schools on or near the Old Shoreham Road and we need to make all the feeder roads safe for young cyclists.

Children need to pedal to school for their health and their parents need to know it’s completely safe.

Now the cycle lane has been installed on the Old Shoreham Road, there’s much less speeding – too many lives have been lost on the road, as correspondence to the Argus has highlighted.

Cars are dangerous – in 2019 1,792 people were killed in car crashes. 99 per cent of people killed on our roads are killed by a car or truck.

We can reduce this figure if we reduce the number of cars on our roads.

Speeding goes down when there are two lanes of traffic instead of four.

The cycle lane protects pedestrians and residents from the worst of pollution as it provides greater space between them and the cars passing by.

This creates more of a barrier for dirty air to circulate.

The climate emergency is not going away.

And we all want our children and grandchildren to inherit a world that is fit for them to live in.

We are going to have to make changes and that includes car use.

Electric cars, while less polluting, are not the panacea.

Electric vehicles emit particulates that poison the atmosphere and require large amounts of electricity, much of which is still sourced through unsustainable means.

And, when riding on a bicycle the fuel you use (sparingly!) is cake.

l The council survey opened January 29 and will close on March 14.

l To carry out the survey visit https://consultations.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parking/onejourneybetter