I WELCOME the support of the Itchen MP for the building of new cycle infrastructure in the City by a Labour Council but I also recognise his concerns.

Southampton is now trying to catch up in terms of cycle infrastructure and it is fair to say that governments of all persuasions have neglected the investment that was required in previous decades. This Labour Council is appreciative of the significant investment that is being provided by the Conservative Government and which is allowing many of our roads to be resurfaced in conjunction with the cycle improvements.

The honourable MP Mr Smith is correct that parts of the cycle network in the city can appear disjointed but it will take time to developed an integrated network and the recent Transforming Cities Bid should also significantly contribute to this outcome.

In 2015 the city council set up the Cycle Forum to enable anyone with an interest in cycling to meet with officers to discuss relevant issues.

Our next meeting is on the January14 and all are welcome.

Details will be published on the council website.

At our most recent meeting on the October 8 we did discuss areas where concerns had been raised such as the junction of Archers Road and the Avenue and officers will be looking at these responses.

At the meeting we discussed the importance of thinking of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as people and so we should talk about the person walking or the person on the bike or the person in the car and to recognise and appreciate we all share this limited pavement and road space.

As a person on a bike, I must recognise and appreciate the right of the person on the pavement to be able to use that space in a safe way and my cycling behaviour should reflect this.

As a person driving a car I must also recognise and appreciate the right of the person on a bike to be able to use that space in a safe way.

Many of us will walk on the pavement, cycle and drive on the road and most of us will respect other users of this space.

Hopefully by always thinking about the other person, we might see better standards of cycling and motoring on our roads.

The Southampton Cycle Campaign regularly and constantly advises its members to respect the space they are using and to recognise the rights of others using that space.

I appreciate that not all do but as a Council we want to see the highest of standards being adhered to and maintained.

I would gladly give the Honourable MP Mr Smith a cycle tour of our new infrastructure and show him how the Labour council is seeking to create better standards of behaviour between persons walking, cycling and driving.

All of us who live in this city are passionate about improving the air that we breathe and these cycling improvement will hopefully give more of us who drive a car a choice to do something different.

The congestion on our city roads will only get worse if we don't provide viable alternatives and this must also include better pavements and public transport.

Councillor Eamonn Keogh

Chair of the Southampton City Council Cycle Forum