A bustling shopping and residential area is to be opened up to cyclists in a transport shake-up.

Plans to drive bikes away from pavements and alleyways will see Brighton and Hove City Council open up 12 one-way streets in North Laine to two-wheel travel in both directions.

Residents and businesses have cautiously welcomed the move adding they hope the scheme, if approved, will be monitored.

View North Laine cycleways in a larger map

The plans come as all the city’s 54 councillors are set to back a Green proposed motion to promote two-wheel travel and create a “city fit for cycling”.

Transport cabinet member Ian Davey said: “The proposals are all about making the whole area more accessible for cyclists and making it easier for people to get to shops and businesses.

“A lot of people already cycle in both directions along these one-way streets. Putting in the necessary safety measures of signs and road markings would help make sure all road users are aware of the shared use.”

The plans, which include Tidy Street, Trafalgar Street and Gloucester Road, will be the first extensive area in the city identified for “contra flow cycling”. All the roads identified currently have 20mph speed limits.

The decision is set to be approved at a transport meeting on Tuesday and traffic orders will then be advertised giving anyone interested an opportunity to comment.

David Sewell, chairman of the North Laine Traders Association, said: “We welcome greater accessibility to shops and services in the area.

“Should the proposals go ahead we anticipate full monitoring of the arrangements, with appropriate feedback and dialogue taking place between the council and local groups.”

Peter Crowhurst, of the North Laine Community Association, said: “The general feeling is that residents are supportive of attempts to open up access to the area but there are a few concerns about how this will be done. For instance, will there be marked cycle lines on the road?”

To underline its commitment to cycling the Green minority administration will propose a notice of motion to full council seeking cross-party support for schemes in the city. The Argus understands this will be supported by Conservative and Labour councillors at the meeting tomorrow night.

The roads being considered for the “contra flow cycling” scheme are Church Street (part), Foundry Street, Gloucester Road, Gloucester Street (part), Kemp Street, Kensington Place, Kensington Street, Over Street, Queen’s Gardens, Robert Street, Tidy Street and Trafalgar Street.