22nd Feb, 2020

Coventry motorists to get up to £3k credit for not using their cars

Felix Nobes 26th Mar, 2019 Updated: 26th Mar, 2019

COVENTRY motorists could soon be entitled to up to £3,000 each a year if they stop using their cars as part of a pollution-busting trial.

The government-funded pilot scheme to be rolled out initially to 100 people across the city could see drivers paid ‘credits’ to ditch their vehicles.

It is hoped they would instead walk and cycle or make use of electric vehicle hire, on-demand public transport and shared taxis.

The ‘Mobility Credits’ scheme would include between £2,000 and £3,000 worth of vouchers per person to be used for public transport, the region’s new bike sharing scheme and electric vehicle hire.

The credits could be accessed by a smartphone app or a travel card, reminiscent of London’s Oyster Cards.

It is not yet clear when the pilot would begin or how long it would last as the scheme is still being developed.

But if it is successful in encouraging motorists to use more sustainable forms of travel, it could be rolled out across the region in the future.

The pilot is part of the £20million Future Mobility programme approved last week by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board.

WMCA chiefs say it is aimed at cutting the number of single-occupancy vehicles, the primary polluters on the region’s roads.

Managing director of TfWM Laura Shoaf said: “Instead of owning a car, people could have the freedom to choose between sustainable travel options, including public transport, shared vehicles, walking or cycling, all within one package.

“That would remove the expense of owning and operating a private vehicle. It would also reduce the number of vehicles on the road, improving congestion, and allowing vehicles and road space to be used more efficiently.”

Another eight new measures will be rolled out as part of the scheme including upgrading the ‘Swift’ transport smart ticket scheme.

Swift cards would entitle users to only pay the lowest rates on public transport and even be used to pay for parking or for gym memberships, WMCA chiefs say.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “We want to make it quick, easy and cheap for everyone to travel around the region by creating a range of reliable alternatives to private car ownership.

“People could leave their cars at home, or get rid of them altogether, and instead opt to take the Metro, train or bus to work, hire an electric vehicle to do their shopping, and share a taxi on a night out.

“This is a bold, ambitious vision for the future, and we’re confident we can prove the concept in the West Midlands and show the rest of the UK the way forward for the future.”

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