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Hancock: We need to look again at the seafront cycling lane

A general election contender has admitted a controversial new cycle lane needs to be looked at again.

Mike Hancock said the recently-introduced dual lane along Southsea seafront was not working properly.

The Portsmouth South Liberal Democrat candidate and senior Portsmouth councillor was speaking during a debate organised by The News featuring all the main hopefuls for the seat.

His comment came as a result of a question from Hilary Reed, the secretary of Portsmouth Cycle Forum, about how much importance each candidate placed on 'green' transport.

Mr Hancock said: 'We have tried successful and unsuccessful cycle lanes in this city but the new one of the seafront I do have serious reservations about. It needs to be looked at again.'

His Tory adversary, Flick Drummond, also admitted the new track, which takes up part of the road east of South Parade Pier in which motorists used to park to look at the sea, was 'controversial'.

Many people have complained that the cycle lane is a danger for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Pedestrians have to cross the cycle path to get to the promenade and in many places they have to walk along it to get to the nearest access point to the prom.

Drivers have complained that the road is now dangerously narrow and many people have suggested that all that was needed was a simple white line painted down a section of the prom.

During the debate at the University of Portsmouth, said flat Portsmouth should be a mecca for cyclists especially now it has 20mph speed limits on the majority of side and back streets.

Green candidate Tim Dawes said: 'If you want a green city, vote for it. It does make a major difference.

'In Oxford, which does have a big green presence on the council, you will see the way they have closed down the city to cars. It's quieter, it's slower and its more people-friendly.'

Labour hopeful John Ferrett said: 'I think Portsmouth is often a story of missed opportunities.

'The light rapid transit system (the supertram project which failed because of the cost of a tunnel under Portsmouth Harbour] was a missed opportunity. 'Look at how places like Manchester have benefited from their tram system.'

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