Coventry drivers could get £3,000 transport vouchers for ditching cars

Amy Walker
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Drivers in Coventry could be paid up to £3,000 a year in transport vouchers to ditch their cars under a UK-first scheme.

The Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) pilot project is designed to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality in the city.

Those who scrap their cars will receive between £1,500 and £3,000 worth of mobility credits to spend using a smartphone app or Swift travel card, on public transport, taxis, bike shares or a car club.

The offer is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority £1m scheme which will be trialled in Coventry next year, and could be rolled out across the region if successful.

Andy Street, the West Midlands mayor, 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.”

The trial has been funded by a £22m grant given to the region by the Department for Transport to develop and test new transport technology and schemes.

Motorists who are willing to give up their cars will be able to apply for the trial scheme later in the year.

Jim O’Boyle, Coventry city council’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “This is a great idea which provides incentives to motorists. 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.”