The first cycle counters in the country have been installed in the city Two giant display units, which cost £50,000, have been erected by Brighton and Hove City Council to inform road users how many cyclists are using two of the area’s busiest roads.

But critics have slammed the counters as a “token gesture” following the scrapping of plans to build a cross-city cycle lane.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “Given the recent scrapping of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane, there is a clear lack of commitment from the Conservatives in charge of the council towards sustainable transport.

“I fear that this is an expensive token gesture on their part.”

She added the administration needed to act with local cycle groups to promote “real and sensible” measures to make two-wheel travel safer and easier.

The giant display units have been installed near Surrenden Park in London Road and near Moulsecoomb Library in Lewes Road, Brighton.

An LED display updates every time a cyclist passes, saying “You are cyclist number xxx today, out of a total of xxx cyclists this year, on this path”.

They will be officially launched during Bike Week, starting June 19.

Adam Pride, from the city’s Cycling group Bricycles, said he was “surprised” at the cost but hoped it would be better value for money than the £93,000 spent on the Old Shoreham Road consultation.

He added: “The council already has several cycle counters along Lewes Road but actually displaying the numbers will be good motivation to both cyclists and motorists.”

The counters were partly paid for by an EU programme to promote cleaner transport in cities.

The city council contributed £8,000, and £10,000 came from Cycling England, a government scheme designed to promote cycling in English towns.

A council spokeswoman said: “These counters collect data which assists the council to understand levels of cycling in the city while promoting cycling at the same time.”