A HAMPSHIRE MP has controversially suggested cyclists should only use roads with cycle lanes on them.

Royston Smith believes cyclists should “consider when and where they cycle” in order to “make the roads safer”.

It comes after a 64-year-old cyclist died after colliding with a lorry outside the Crickets Arms on Portsmouth Road, Woolston.

However, cycling campaigners have condemned the Southampton Itchen MP’s comments as “complete nonsense” and said “we should be encouraging more people to use the roads, not less”.

Mr Smith told the Daily Echo that better judgement should be used by cyclists when they consider which roads they are using.

He feels that “the risk factor involved when cyclists use busy roads is greater compared to using country lanes”.

Mr Smith said: “Sometimes cyclists must use their judgement and try and stick to routes that have cycle lanes on them.

“Some roads have been made and improved to ensure cycle access is better and the roads are wider, but we have to acknowledge that it’s dangerous for cyclists on certain roads and that they may need to consider when and where they cycle.

“The cycling lobby won’t like this but we have to do something to make the roads safer.

“We’re moving towards fewer cars on the roads and getting towards automated car improvement, but as of today there are 35 million registered cars on our roads.

“Until this gets lower, considerations need to be made.”

Emergency services including an ambulance, two officers in rapid-response vehicles, the air ambulance emergency response car and the air ambulance helicopter were called to Portsmouth Road to attend the accident.

Part of the road was cordoned off and remained closed throughout the afternoon while police officers carried out inquiries at the scene.

Colin Macqueen, co-founder of Clean Air Southampton, said that Mr Smith’s remarks were “nonsense”.

He said: “A bicycle is a vehicle on the road, not causing the problem. Bad driving is the root of the problem.

“There have been five deaths in and around Southampton, with some occurring on quiet country lanes in the New Forest.

“Mr Smith says cyclists shouldn’t use busy roads but two people died on those quiet roads which were caused by bad driving.”