RESIDENTS have gathered to celebrate the removal of a controversial cycle lane just a year after it was first installed.

Delighted opponents to the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane met to celebrate the completion of its removal on Thursday 16.

Council workers worked through the night for six days to remove the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane after councillors voted to scrap it.

Starting on Monday 13, they used a saw and a jackhammer to dig up the controversial cycle route.

Pictures taken from the road near Hove Park show the completed work, with almost no sign that the cycle lane once existed.

The work was completed in two phases, despite attempts from Extinction Rebellion protests to delay the removal.

Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett met with residents to celebrate its removal and said they were "thrilled" to see it scrapped.

She said: "It was great to meet with residents again to mark the completion of works to remove the temporary cycle lanes on Old Shoreham Road.

“They are thrilled that the cycle lane has been removed and that Stapley Road will stay open and we’ve had a lot emails from residents saying how thankful they are that it has gone.

“The roads are now clear with no hold-ups and no fumes from cars queuing up - especially around the refuse tip.

“If activists can have a mock funeral procession protest at the Hove Cemetery - which I think is disgusting when genuine mourners were showing their respects to loved ones buried there - we can certainly have a celebration.

"We had a celebratory glass of wine and a piece of cake to mark the completion of works.”

The cycle lane was one of a series of “active travel” schemes introduced across Brighton and Hove during the first national coronavirus lockdown at the behest of the Conservative government.

The emergency active travel schemes were introduced when the government was urging people not to use public transport.

At the time, Labour was the biggest party on the council.

The council received more than £3 million from the government in the first two tranches of “emergency active travel funding”.

A report before councillors last month said that almost £280,000 of funding was immediately at risk because of the vote to remove the cycle lane.

Green councillor Amy Heley said that the decision to remove the cycle lane was “shameful”.

She said at the time: “I’m scared for the future. This is the tiniest thing we could have done, a step in the right direction, but they just don’t care. It’s very disappointing.”