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Coventry motorists urged to ditch cars with £1m scrappage scheme

Photo caption (from left to right): Cllr Jim O'Boyle, Coventry City Council cabinet member for jobs and regeneration; Cllr Patricia Hetherton Coventry City Council cabinet member for city services; and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

Car retailers in Coventry will not benefit from the pilot of a vehicle scrappage scheme which is set to pay motorists £3,000 to take more polluting older vehicles off the road.

The two-year scheme, which is currently being worked on by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), ahead of its roll-out later this year, will be used to fund other modes of transport rather than a new car.

AM’s sister title, Fleet News, reported that the project, the first of its kind in the UK, is designed to get polluting cars off the road, ease traffic congestion and improve air quality in the West Midlands city.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “Instead of asking people to trade in their old car for a new one, we are offering them credits to try something new – such as join a car share scheme or take the bus or train.

“Not only will people be saving money on the cost of running and maintaining their cars, but they will also help the region ease traffic congestion and improve air quality in the fight against climate change.

“This will make a considerable difference to Coventry as the city welcomes thousands of visitors next year for City of Culture.”

Many car retailers will undoubtedly consider the move away from the car unusual for any local authority in this part of the West Midlands, which is renowned as a base for carmakers including Jaguar Land Rover and PSA Group in the UK.

News of the scheme follows Coventry City Council’s decision not to introduce a clean air zone (CAZ) to reduce emissions in its more heavily congested urban areas, however.

The scrappage scheme trial is being funded from the £22m Future Mobility Zone grant given to the region by the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop and test new transport technology and schemes.

Later this year TfWM will invite people, who are willing to give up their cars, to apply for the two-year pilot project.

The credits will be provided on a smartphone app through which participants will also be able to plan and book their journeys.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, added: “The key now is to work up the scheme in a way that benefits people who may be dependent on using a vehicle as part of their daily responsibilities. It’s about encouraging change without imposing it.”

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