Cyclists have criticised the design of a road safety scheme that will pave over a cycle lane.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) has objected to the plan to remove part of a southbound cycle lane in Lewes Road, Brighton.

The cycle lane would be replaced with pavement, extending out into the road with a pelican crossing as part of a Safer Routes to School scheme.

The crossing would be added to Lewes Road just before the junction to Hartington Road.

BHFOE claims the removal of the cycle lane could put cyclists in danger and has described the move as “ironic”, citing the area’s status as a cycle demonstration city.

BHFOE has also objected to St Leonard’s Road becoming a one-way street as part of the scheme and says the council is making it more difficult for cyclists in the city.

Chris Todd, of BHFOE, said the group was not against the Safer Routes to School scheme but did object to the design of it.

He said: “At a time when more people are cycling and wanting to cycle the council appears hellbent on stopping them.

“These proposals show the lack of thinking in the planning of transport facilities.

“Lewes Road is one of the major cycling routes into and out of the city and as such should be a priority for improvement.

“It’s absolutely crazy to be ripping up the cycle lane here. It is another kick in the teeth for people trying to do the right thing by cycling more, for their health and for the planet.”

Geoffrey Theobald, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “I have asked our design team to look again at that part of the scheme and the possibility of removing the build out.

“We want it to be suitable for cyclists but it is aimed at creating a safer route to the schools. We are doing our best to balance the interests of all parties.”

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