Coventry avoids Clean Air Zone need with emissions reduction plan
Coventry City Council is not introducing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), after the Government approved its alternative emissions reduction plan.
It follows the Government's rejection of Coventry's initial plan last year, when it told the city that it would have to introduce a CAZ to meet its air quality targets.
The Council, which has argued strongly against a CAZ, set out a series of measures to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions without the need for a charging zone.
It was initially ordered to introduce one in May 2019, after its previous plans were rejected by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The new plans see a mix of mode shifting from cars to buses, the use of electric buses in areas of high emissions, along with road changes to reduce congestion by making traffic flow better in target areas,
Cllr Jim O’Boyle said: “This is excellent news and means any CAZ that would have been imposed - affecting 82,000 residents or 25% of our residents – has been stopped.
“A CAZ 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 CAZ.”
The Council will consult 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
The legal direction from the government means Coventry needs 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.
O’Boyle added: “In June last year we clearly set out to the government why a CAZ 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.”
Read the legal direction here