A CONTROVERSIAL bus lane scheme will not be reinstated, the new leader of Southampton City Council has confirmed.

The bus and cycle lane on the A3024 Bitterne Road West will not return now Labour have regained power in the city.

Speaking during the first council meeting since the local elections, Cllr Satvir Kaur answered simply “no” when asked if the bus lane would be reinstated.

The temporary scheme cost taxpayers £83,000.

It was removed not long after the Conservatives took control of the authority last May.

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A total of 400 residents objected to the scheme at the time according to Conservative councillor, Daniel Fitzhenry.

But Cllr Kaur later said the choice to remove the bus lane was “disappointing” and “short-sighted”.

Speaking to the Echo after today's meeting, Cllr Kaur said: “There was government direction to have different schemes on a trial basis, the bus lane was one of them.

“It’s unfortunate that it was a Conservative administration that went against a Conservative government and used local taxpayers’ money to get rid of it before the trial.”

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After it was removed in June last year, the council said that the lane had cut bus journey times by an average of three and a half minutes heading outbound and three minutes inbound.

The lane ran from Union Road to Maybray King Way.

Cllr Kaur added: “Labour are hugely ambitious with our transport plans.

“What we're really keen to do is, irrespective of how you choose to travel around the city, we want it to be easier, more accessible and safer and that just was not happening underneath the Conservatives.

“It’s why we’ve got a pledge to make bus travel cheaper. We absolutely will continue to improve the bus travel within the city and we remain committed to that.”

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