Eco-driving courses are being paid for by local authority bosses – as thousands of people remain stuck in tailbacks due to the construction of a cycle and bus lane.

Dozens of people who live in the Lewes Road area of Brighton have taken part in the programme run by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Bosses believe it has helped those that have taken part save up to 33% of their fuel consumption – saving them hundreds of pounds.

The 50-minute courses are being paid for out of a £4 million Government grant which was awarded to the local authority to encourage improvements to the Lewes Road corridor.

The same funding is currently paying for the construction of a cycle and bus lane in the busy dual carriageway – which is causing congestion and delays to thousands of people.

Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “This excellent initiative helps residents to save fuel and cash, reduce emissions and drive more safely.

“It’s good not only for the Lewes Road area but for the city as a whole.”

About 70 drivers so far have completed the course.

It sees them fill in a one-week travel diary and then a 50-minute lesson with a professional instructor, which costs £23 a time.

Fuel savings

It is believed they have saved on average £178 and one-third of a tonne of carbon dioxide – about the same as topping up a home’s loft insulation and lagging your hot water tank and pipes.

The council has paid the Energy Saving Trust for £2,440 of driver training time.

Those living in Hanover, Elm Grove and Hollingdean were the first to be offered the courses.

Now locals living in the Coombe Road area, Bevendean, Moulsecoomb and Coldean are invited to sign up.

Among those to have taken part include Kathryn, who lives in the London Road station area She said: “My journeys around the city are short and quite often stop-starty.

“The instructor was really helpful and guided me through ways of driving at the same speed but using the gears and clutch of my car to maximum effect.”

For more details call 01273 290498 or email

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