No Clean Air Zone for Coventry

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THE GOVERNMENT has written to the Coventry City Council in support of local proposals setting out measures to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions in the city instead of establishing a specific clean air zone.

This means Coventry does not need a Class D-charging Clean Air Zone, which would have seen higher emission vehicles charged for entering a large area of the city.

In a letter to Council Leader, Councillor George Duggins from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Rebecca Pow MP, it states: “I am pleased that you have submitted updated modelling in order to meet your direction and that the Council has subsequently worked closely with my officials to refine your options…

“On the basis of the evidence provided, I am content that you should proceed with implementing your preferred alternative option to a charging Clean Air Zone…”

The legal direction from the government means that Coventry will need to submit a final full business case by 19 June which will feature more details on the schemes now due to get underway.

Ahead of the June deadline the Council will hold further discussions with residents on the proposed measures.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle commented on the news: “In June last year we clearly set out to the government why a Clean Air Zone would not work in Coventry and is not needed.

“More than six months on they have confirmed what we have always said.

“What we all know is that it is absolutely vital that we tackle air pollution – and particularly vehicle emissions.

“We know the health risks of Nitrogen Dioxide and that is why we want to address this through a package of measures including highways engineering, improved traffic management, cycle routes, travel planning, upgrading bus fleet, supporting a shift to electric taxis and encouraging the uptake of electric cars and installing more charging points.

“We have a lot do.”

The Council has been working closely with the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit throughout and the Council’s positions has consistently argued against a Clean Air Zone.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle added: “This is excellent news and means any Clean Air Zone that would have been imposed – affecting 82,000 residents or 25 per cent of our residents – has been stopped.

“A Clean Air Zone in Coventry would have potentially created worse air quality on many residential roads bordering the charging zone as drivers would have sought alternative routes to avoid the Clean Air Zone.”

The Council will be continuing to consult with local people over the coming weeks about the plans being identified.

These include:

  • Capacity improvements on the B4106 through Spon End and Junction 7 of the Ring Road, including improved routes for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Opening Upper Hill Street onto the Ring Road, giving left in/left out access to the Ring Road via the clockwise on-slip road at Junction 8 and allowing Barras Lane to be closed;
  • Closure of Barras Lane between the A4114 Holyhead Road and Coundon Road/Upper Hill Street allowing the removal of the signals at the Barras Lane / Holyhead Road junction;
  • Reducing the number of polluting vehicles by introducing restrictions on the eastern section of the A4114 Holyhead Road on the approach to Junction 8;
  • Construction of a segregated cycle route linking Coundon with the city centre along Coundon Road and Upper Hill Street;
  • Engagement initiative (travel planning) for schools, businesses and communities along Holyhead Road Corridor;
  • Banning the right turn from Cash’s Lane onto Foleshill Road
  • HGV ban on part of Foleshill Road;
  • Assigning electric buses to Foleshill Road.

Coventry has been awarded grant funding of £24.5m to implement the schemes.