Following your front-page story on the Lewes Road scheme (The Argus, November 5), I would like to congratulate Brighton and Hove City Council on a project which is, at last, getting to grips with one of the most polluted and dangerous roads in our city.

For years Lewes Road has funnelled traffic into our city centre, causing congestion and choking us with poisonous air, the likes of which results in 20-30,000 early deaths in this country every year.

A survey by Lewes Road For Clean Air a few years ago showed two-thirds of cars on this road carry only the driver. This rises to three-quarters at rush hour – a dreadfully inefficient use of valuable shared road space, which cannot continue.

Currently, only about 2% of journeys on this road are by bike. Safety concerns are the main barrier cited for not cycling.

Yet considering the route has four university sites (attended by most of the city’s 30,000 students, not to mention thousands of staff), links numerous communities to the city centre, leads straight to the Albion’s stadium and provides a link via Stanmer Park to the South Downs, it falls short of its potential as a key cycle route.

Improvements will help realise potential and herald a quantum leap in cycling uptake in the years ahead.

This shift will come from bus users, motorists and younger school-age children. In the long run, it will deliver better health outcomes and a more pleasant environment.

Further reductions in car use can be achieved through more lift-sharing as fuel and parking costs push people to use cars more effectively.

I have confidence in the council to deliver a scheme for Lewes Road which we can all feel proud of.

Duncan Blinkhorn, Seville Street, Brighton

Speaking as a beleaguered tax-payer, I notice that I spend thousands every year on clearing up roads after accidents, on maintaining roads to maximise the speed between jams and on entirely necessary inquiries into unnecessary accidents.

No one asks me if I want to spend that money on motorway improvements and the consequences, but I feel locally I have been asked about these road changes.

For me they are improvements. I can now cycle safely down The Drive and along Old Shoreham Road. I see people using the new cycle lanes. I see traffic progressing much as it did, but in harmony with other road users.

Too much is spent on the car god and its worshippers. What about everyone else?

I see efforts being made to make life better for others. I see a plan for Seven Dials to give the area back to the people and I see a process of consultation.

So what is the thrust of your story about the Lewes Road scheme? That motoring might be less attractive; that the scheme is not cheap; that motorists should be protected from nasty pedestrians and cyclists?

I notice that one online contributor remarks that an Englishman’s car is his castle – I for one cry, “Hold! Enough!”

Graham Hodges, Caburn Road, Hove

I am totally for the council trying to reduce pollution and car use through the Lewes Road scheme.

Wouldn’t Brighton be wonderful if we had hardly any cars?

I’m all for anything which can get people out of their cars and on to bikes or buses or out walking, instead of driving.

It would be fab if pollution could be reduced, particularly in Lewes Road and Preston Circus.

Alison Plaumer, Old Shoreham Road, Brighton

Your headline “Fare Play?” (The Argus, November 5) paints a gloomy picture of the impact of proposed bus and cycle lanes in Lewes Road.

The proposals (which are predominantly funded by the Government’s local sustainable transport fund) will result in significant benefits for bus passengers and cyclists, who already represent the majority of users of Lewes Road.

The council has undertaken extensive public consultation and has held workshops with stakeholders to discuss the scheme.

Bus usage has been increasing here for many years. This project will encourage more growth by providing a segregated highway north of the Vogue Gyratory for buses and cyclists, recognising the valuable contribution they make to the environment.

The pessimistic predictions quoted do not take account of commercial initiatives by Brighton and Hove Bus Company to provide better bus services. It has improved buses along the A259 since bus lanes were introduced. There is every chance this will be repeated in Lewes Road. The council should be applauded for taking the bold decision to proceed.

The scheme received enthusiastic support from all political parties at the transport committee last month and is supported by Brighton Area Buswatch.

Andrew Boag, chair, Brighton Area Buswatch

In 2010, two years after the A259 bus lanes began, the bus had reached a modal share of 33% during the peak hour. Four years on, in 2012, this share increased to 45%.

We expect similar growth when the Lewes Road bus lanes are introduced, which means everyone benefits as motorists who still need to use their car will have a better journey.

Roger French, managing director, Brighton and Hove Bus Company

We need to be clear that the council does not “predict that major infrastructure work on the Lewes Road could convince just 1% of drivers to switch to buses”.

The 1% comes from a computer model helpful in predicting traffic movements, but not changes in people’s decisions – transport models help plan schemes, but cannot accurately predict how people’s behaviour might change.

As a report supporting the decision at Transport Committee last month explained, experts expect the Lewes Road project to create a 10% switch from people choosing cars to choosing public transport, cycling or walking instead.

This estimate is based on (among other things) our experience of the A259 east of Brighton Marina, where similar work led to more reliable bus journey times, more frequent services and consequently a 25% increase in people choosing to travel by bus.

The Lewes Road project has not been developed in isolation by the council. We are working closely with Brighton and Hove Albion, the University of Brighton and the bus company, to name but a few. These organisations are jointly responsible for many of the trips people make. They fully endorse plans to reduce congestion and improve safety and journey times for people using sustainable transport.

Finally, the Lewes Road area was selected by the Government for investment because it will see future economic growth with the expansion of the universities, development of the Preston Barracks site, the new Keep facility and the growing Amex stadium.

It is therefore even more important we put the right infrastructure in place now to ensure people can travel to these locations using sustainable transport, and prevent more congestion and pollution.

Green councillor Ian Davey Brighton and Hove City Council

In a statement issued to The Argus last Friday, a Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman contradicted the letter directly above, saying: “This computer programme is designed to give an indication of how many people will swap from car journeys to travelling by bus. The prediction from [the] Lewes Road scenario has suggested only 1% of people will get out of their cars and on to buses.”