Update on the Local Air Quality Action Plan

CovCycling
Photo – Coventry Telegraph

In March we reported on the latest plans submitted by the council to meet the Government targets for reduction in NO2 levels in the city, which was at that time out for public consultation.

Since then, the Government has given the go ahead to implement the scheme and on 21st July the Council’ Cabinet gave approval for issuing the necessary statutory Traffic Regulation Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders that the scheme requires.

The scheme comprises a package of measures that, in combination, achieve compliance with the legal limits for roadside NO2 levels across the city. The three main elements of the package are measures aimed at:

  • Reducing the level of car traffic by encouraging modal shift to sustainable and active modes of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport through infrastructure improvements (a new, fully segregated, cycle route linking the city centre with Coundon), and through engagement with schools, businesses and local communities to promote sustainable and active travel, especially for shorter, local, journeys.
  • Reducing the number of older, more polluting, vehicles on the transport network by encouraging people and businesses to invest in low emission vehicles through a range of incentive schemes and initiatives. This includes the promotion of electric cars, buses, taxis and commercial vehicles.
  • Enabling dynamic traffic management on the key routes into the city, notably Holyhead Road and Foleshill Road, by implementing highway improvements on these and parallel corridors to reduce traffic congestion (and therefore vehicle emissions). The specific improvements are focussed on the Allesley Old Road at Spon End and Junction 7 on the ring road (next to the Arena), the Holyhead Road / Barras Lane / Upper Hill Street area, and on Foleshill Road.

The Coventry Society is disappointed that the Spon End proposals include the demolition of the former Black Horse Public House to create an extra traffic lane.

AGF00032

The Government has awarded the Council £24.5 million in grant funding from the Air Quality Implementation Fund to implement the scheme. The Council is required to have delivered the scheme by the end of 2021, which is a very early deadline.

The engagement programme with schools, businesses and local communities will commence from this September, whilst the construction schemes will start in October with Coundon Cycle Route being the first scheme coming forward for construction.

It should be noted that the measures within the scheme form only part of the work underway within Coventry to reduce transport emissions, and that other separately funded initiatives are being delivered by the City Council and its partners, such as the continued expansion of electric vehicle charge point network, the introduction of electric buses onto the cities’ bus service network, the electric fleet programme, and future transport zone work such as the mobility credits scheme, as well as infrastructure projects such as the Binley cycle route and the Very Light Rail project.

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