JUDGING by some of the correspondence in recent weeks, there are some strong opinions about the cycle lanes in Southampton.

Being stuck in traffic can be very frustrating, but if you genuinely couldn’t have made your journey by bike, why isn’t your frustration at least partly directed at those drivers in the queue in front of you who could easily have cycled rather than getting in your way?

If you were travelling locally, why didn’t you cycle instead?

Cycling may well have saved you time, you wouldn’t have been part of the traffic jam and you wouldn’t have contributed to the city’s poor air quality.

I get that you might have reasons for not cycling – poor cycle infrastructure elsewhere on your route or a lack of good facilities (including secure bike storage), for example.

But I wonder why you haven’t chosen to voice your frustration with the council about these?

Why haven’t you investigated our excellent local bike shops (and supported local businesses many of you claim to care about in the process) or some of the great “budget cycling” resources online?

There are many ways in which cycling can be made easy, safe and comfortable – even in inclement weather or when you have things to carry.

Behaviour change takes time, and we will need to be patient before some of the benefits of the new cycle lanes can be seen.

I have used the cycle lanes on The Avenue a lot and appreciate having a route which is now safe.

The damaged bollards show just why cycle infrastructure is necessary (drivers clearly cannot be relied upon to keep a safe distance from cyclists) and it will take time for some to have the courage to start cycling.

The new cycle infrastructure isn’t perfect and I do share some of the concerns about traffic (especially where the filter lane at the Winchester Rd roundabout has been removed, for example).

However, if we are serious about making our city an attractive and accessible place for all then the solution is not simply to remove the cycle lanes.

Cities which are famous for their quality of life – such as Copenhagen – typically have good cycle infrastructure, and it would be good if the council showed real vision when tackling issues of accessibility and air quality.

James Pritchard