A councillor has denied he is pro-car despite pouring scorn on a walking and cycling strategy.

He described Oxfordshire County Council's policy of encouraging people to cycle to and from work as 'unrealistic'.

But Cllr Keith Strangwood said his comments reflected the views of his constituents.

He said: "My number one rule when I became a councillor in 1999 was that I would always speak the words of the people, not necessarily what I think personally.

"If councils are to work they must listen to the public. My comments on the walking and cycling strategy were the views of grassroots people. I just passed on what they said."

Cllr Strangwood, who said cycling was his hobby, added: "I cycle on Sundays as often as I can - when I'm not buried under piles of paperwork from the county council. I did five miles through the countryside last week."

However, Cllr Strangwood said he was concerned for Banbury.

He said: "Our over-eager county council will rubber-stamp plans that put cycling first on the agenda for everyone. It seems they have joined the Government in its view that the cheapest way out of traffic congestion is to push aside the motorist and put everyone on bikes.

"At the same time they block our roads with poorly thought-out traffic schemes that drive the taxpayers into a frenzy.

"Why don't they plan with vision instead of turning limited roadspace into cycle lanes?"

He added: "If the council is serious about getting people on to bikes, why don't they fill in the huge number of potholes in our roadsides? They are potential deathtraps for motor and pedal cyclists.

"I am not anti-bike - unlike many anti-car people I meet. I like my bike and use it when I choose to in this once free country of ours."