I am writing to support Southampton’s new cycle and bus lanes.

We all know that heavy road traffic is unsafe and bad for air quality.

With COVID 19, people’s transport habits have changed, and we have a rare opportunity to make that change permanent.

I’m pleased that the city council has taken up the government money to install the lanes.

The scheme is intended as a temporary measure while traffic levels are still relatively low.

It is surely too early to judge the success of the scheme, so the current campaign to remove the lanes is premature.

I haven’t cycled much for years, put off by increasingly busy roads.

Walking and using the bus was much less stressful.

But with COVID I’ve had to get on my bike.

This summer, I will be using the cycle lanes to explore areas around the outskirts of the city.

Usually I would catch the bus to Lordswood and Chilworth, but now I can use the cycle lane along The Avenue and Bassett Avenue – without it, this road is just too busy to cycle along.

Bitterne and much of eastern Southampton is no longer a no-go area for cycling.

Many of the existing cycle paths, for instance across the Common, are too isolated to use after dark, so it is good to have alternatives routes on well-lit roads.

Since COVID, I’ve cycle to Eastleigh every weekend.

In the first weeks of lockdown, with so few cars and lorries about, the roads through Portswood, Swaythling and Stoneham Lane were a joy to use.

There were lots of other cyclists about, including families with young children.

But the last few weekends, the roads are busy again, and there are far fewer cyclists and no families.

Most of this route is unsuitable for cycle lanes, so I would also like to see much-reduced speed limits on all urban roads.

Ingrid Peckham

Bevois Valley