IT WAS with a feeling of consternation that I read of Conservative Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith’s comments regarding cyclists’ safety in the city.

What leapt out at me about his comments was what if we changed the word cyclist to something like children, or women, or ethnic minorities?

If a series of roads weren’t safe for women to walk down, would we say that it was best they walked somewhere else? That it was best if they used their judgement and avoided certain areas?

That women may not like this but that something had to be done to make our streets safer?

We wouldn’t.

We would recognise the fact that it was a utterly unacceptable situation that individuals were at risk for doing something they were completely within their rights to do.

Tragedies like the death of the cyclist on Portsmouth Road must be a catalyst for change, putting the blame on those most at risk is a typical Conservative response.

Benjamin Curd

Southampton Liberal Democrats