I FIND Councillor Steve Bell's comments and traffic and transport quite worrying (The Argus, August 14).

They show a remarkable detachment from the issues.

He claims that the cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road should never have been implemented because of a study from 2008. Yet 2008 is a long time ago,

before the pandemic which has caused a huge upheaval in travel patterns.

To base a decision on that report would have been foolhardy at best. It was also before we knew just how bad climate change is and that we now need to

have less traffic if we’re to reduce our carbon emissions fast enough.

Secondly, at that time the then Conservative council leader had to be dissuaded from spending vast sums of public money ripping out the cycle lanes on The Drive. She was hardly going to implement cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road, whatever the report had said.

Cllr Bell is also trying to blame the potential loss of funding that the city could face on the Green administration, when it was Labour and the Conservatives who voted to take out the cycle lanes in full knowledge of the risks involved. Especially since the decision was based on anecdotal evidence and a consultation that had clearly failed to reach many of those most likely to be affected by its removal.

He goes on to make much of being honest with residents, yet there is much he is not telling them. Government policy talks about putting cycling at the heart of transport, place-making and health policy, not banishing it to the margins as Steve Bell seems keen to do. It also wants half of all journeys in urban areas to be walked and cycled. Something we will struggle to achieve if we cannot keep cycle lanes on one of the roads where it’s most needed.

We need politicians who opposed the Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes to be honest with us. Where would they put new cycle infrastructure given that 66 per cent of adults (and 71 per cent of women) feel it is too dangerous to cycle on our roads? We haven’t seen any significant new routes created in over a decade and at this rate unlikely to see any more. This is the main implication of what Steve Bell is saying.

Finally, and most worryingly, Steve Bell believes that to make the city carbon neutral, you don’t have to do anything other than keep the traffic moving. This is not what the science is telling us and at this moment in time I have much more faith in the scientists than our local politicians.

Chris Todd

Planning and transport campaigner

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth