THE people have made their views clear on Southampton City Council’s new cycle lanes and they are not impressed.

Halving road capacity into the city was an extremely short-sighted decision.

It means that as our economy recovers and hopefully returns to some sort of normality, the city’s main roads will be gridlocked, and pollution levels will soar as cars sit idling in huge tailbacks.

Unless the council reverses its flawed decision, traffic will be backed up as far as Hedge End in the East and the M3 in the North.

People won’t be able to get into our city and most importantly won’t be able to spend money in our city.

The consequences of this would be grave for Southampton.

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Fewer customers means more failing businesses and significant job losses.

We all want a city which has clean air and sustainable transport options.

In Parliament I have been pushing for the promotion of e-bicycles and the relaxation of rules on e-scooters.

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Royston Smith, above.

But closing the roads before practical alternatives widely exist and without consultation is not the answer.

There is a pattern developing within the Labour controlled city council.

Their willingness to play ‘fast and loose’ with the democratic process is becoming a habit.

They make bad decisions because they don’t listen to the people.

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We have seen this before – such as with the decision to fell trees in Marhill Copse or proposals to put 5G antennae practically in people’s back gardens with little or no consultation.

Labour needs to wake up and start listening to the people of Southampton.

Riding rough shod over voters opinions will not end well in the local elections next May.

Royston Smith MP

Southampton Itchen