I have grave reservations with the recent decisions, particularly those most recently made, to introduce cycle lanes on major routes in and out of Southampton.

Whilst one can appreciate and recognise the need for "green ambitions", surely this is too much too soon.

With business in general and the economy too being in a fragile state, is this really the time to deliberately bring transport to a painful crawl?

Whenever I criss cross the city, or have made my way by car to work in Chandlers Ford, it grates on me to see cycle lanes with very few cyclists actually using them.

A different strategy has to be developed to get more people to ride.The current and past proposals have obviously not worked.

I am in my sixties, so nothing is likely to get me and many of my age group back in the saddle.

And therein lies the problem.

You can provide the horse with water, but you can't make it drink.

There definitely seems to be a lack of joined up thinking.

For instance, coming in and out of town from and to the east means overcoming some horrendous steep hills.

Can anyone visualise hundreds of cyclists, all of varying fitness levels, ability and speeds, safely sharing relatively narrow cycle lanes?

The winter months doesn't bear thinking about!

Remember too, it was only a couple of years ago that it was decided to extend and improve the M27 junction 8 at Bursledon in order to encourage more Southampton bound traffic, including HGVs, to divert onto what is to be an upgraded multi million pound scheme to make this road more vehicle user friendly all the way into the heart of the city.

What's the point in doing all of this expensive work if in reality, the council is intent on keeping vehicles away from the city and or at the very least, make it overly difficult in deference to it's yet to be found hoards of social warrior bike riders.

I fear that this council, in it's righteous search for pollution free perfection, will instead find it's created a gridlocked edge of town fume-filled hell.

More thought required please.

John Martin

Hedge End