A COUNCILLOR who called cyclists "arrogant and nasty" at a public meeting has apologised for her comments.

Sue Kempson (Conservative) made the remarks during a meeting of East Lothian's Integration Joint Board (IJB) yesterday (Thursday) in Haddington.

Members were being given an update on the new £70million community hospital being built in Haddington and plans to extend the Haddington to Longniddry Railway Walk - popular with pedestrians and cyclists - through the grounds on the new hospital.

Councillor Kempson, who represents Dunbar and East Linton, said she had recently used the existing path and had had a bad experience with cyclists.

She told the meeting: “I have serious concerns about the cyclists. They are the most arrogant and nasty people.

“How there has not been an accident there I do not know."

Her comments brought mixed reaction when published online with some supporting her view while others were infuriated.

One Facebook user said: "Where cyclists and pedestrians share the same path, in general, I'd say she has a point."

While another added: "Time they [cyclists] had insurance and be open to prosecution same as car owners."

However, many others disagreed. One said: "I've walked this path numerous times with the dog and never had an issue with the cyclists; I always put the dog on the lead or just hold her until they pass and they always thank me."

Another Facebook user said: "How is this any different to characterising a whole race for the perceived or even statistical higher incidence of bad behaviour or other undesirable attribute by its members?"

Councillor Kempson today (Friday) issued an apology.

She said: "I would like to apologise for my comments during the IJB meeting yesterday. In no way did I mean to imply that all cyclists behaved in an anti-social manner and, of course, many are very responsible.

"I merely wanted to highlight the problematic few whose behaviour risks causing a nasty accident on the railway walk."

The new community hospital is due to be completed by January next year. The extended railway walk is due to run to the south of the main hospital buildings.