A PETITION calling for well-planned and high-quality permanent cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road has attracted close to 500 signatures in just one week.

Created by Pascale Palazzo, representing a group of parents and children who used the now removed cycle lane along the road, the petition demands the council offer schoolchildren, delivery drivers and commuters a safe way to get around "without risking their lives."

"Temporary cycle lanes allowed us and our children to travel safely for a while, but now they've been removed, we have to drive, take the bus or brave terrifying traffic by bike," the petition states.

Pascale said: "We need well-planned permanent cycle lanes on the Old Shoreham Road that take into account the needs of current and future cyclists, as well as drivers.

"The petition gives a voice to the thousands of residents, including children for whom cycling could make a difference."

She also said that the cost of having children travel by public transport can be expensive for some, with cycling offering a way of helping parents save money, as well as offering a way for young people to keep physically active.

Pascale said: "As an obesity coach, I feel passionate about activity levels, especially for younger generations.

"One in every five UK ten-year-olds is now living with obesity, Cycling can make a huge difference, but children can only do it if it's safe."

She added that she had not expected to see so many signatures for the petition so soon and said it has received a "great response."

The petition comes shortly after the launch of a bike train by parents along the path of the former cycle lane to help get their children safely to school.

Bricycles campaigner Chris Williams said: "When the cycle lanes were removed, we were inundated with correspondence from parents of children whose safe route to school had disappeared overnight and had been unaware that it was due to be removed.

"The Old Shoreham Road is essential for cycling for the same reason that it's an essential driving route: it connects shops, homes, business and schools in the west of the city."

The controversial cycle lane was removed last month following a vote of Brighton and Hove City Council.

The question over its future proved divisive, with hundreds claiming the cycle lane was causing congestion along the road while being underused by cyclists, while others said the lane was vital in helping encourage more cycling across Brighton and Hove as part of the battle to cut pollution.

The petition can be found on the council's website at https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=787

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