SOUTHAMPTON'S Labour council's political project of trying to force people from their cars by reducing road capacity into our city on the main arterials routes is a dangerous strategy deployed because they (the local Labour Party) saw an opportunity to do it.

There has been no evidence that the Bassett Avenue cycle lane, Bitterne bus lane or Hill Lane cycle lane changes were "required" because of covid19.

Infact, at scrutiny meeting a member of the Labour Cabinet said that the covid situation allowed them (the Labour council) to bring forward plans they had already been considering.

And of course, this pandemic has given them the money from government to do so, in the form of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

But these changes are clearly political and officer lead changes to our city with the single intention of pushing people out of their cars.

At a council meeting in July, the Cabinet member Cllr Steve Leggett specifically said they would not back our plans for a temporary scrapping of city centre parking charges "because it would encourage cars into the city centre.

As a conservative team of councillors and our members of parliament, we believe the Labour councils approach to trying to force people onto alternative transport, without providing any alternative, is a strategy that isn't in the best interests of our city.

We need a long term plan for our city, incorporating mass transit, park and ride, water taxis, walking, cycling/ buses, but also the car.

We are an amazing city, with such a spirit of energy and capability, we have been and are being let down by this Labour council who seek to control everything and as a result achieve nothing but higher taxes, poorer services and a city that feels its being poorly looked after by its political leaders.

We have a vision of our city, to ignite the energy, belief and opportunity of our great city, its time to remove this Labour council from office in next May's local election and #getsouthamptonmoving again.

Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry

Leader of the Conservative Group, Southampton City Council