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Air quality

Transport and Air Quality in Coventry

Air pollution adversely affects health across all sectors of the population, from unborn children to elderly people. It contributes to the development or exacerbation of a range of health conditions, and is the largest environmental risk to public health, increasing the chances of people needing to access health services, particularly those people with respiratory and cardiovascular illness. Poor air quality affects everyone, especially the young and old, the sick and the poor. 

Emissions from various forms of transport are a significant contributor to poor air quality within areas of Coventry, and a city-wide Air Quality Management Area is in place. This page sets out the plans that are being put in place to reduce vehicle emissions to meet the City Council's commitment to improving air quality throughout the city.

Air quality within Coventry is monitored by the Council's Environmental Protection Team.

National Picture

In July 2017, the Government published the "United Kingdom Plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations". Within this, Coventry was named as one of 28 towns and cities in England where NO2 levels are forecast to exceed legal limits in 2021. 

The City Council is working closely with the Government's Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to develop a plan to achieve the legal limits for NO within Coventry in the shortest possible time. The approach to doing so has been set out in reports to the City Council's Cabinet, and the Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board.

Local Air Quality Action Plan

The City Council and its partners are setting out how they will go about achieving reductions in NO2 concentrations in the Local Air Quality Action Plan (LAQAP) for Coventry, which is being put together in response to the nationwide drive to reduce roadside NO2 levels.

Air quality monitoring has identified a number of locations across the city where NO2 levels need to be reduced to meet the thresholds set by Government and the European Union, and the LAQAP will identify a range of measures to be implemented by the City Council and its partners to achieve this.

A comprehensive traffic data collection programme has been undertaken to provide evidence of the current volume and composition of traffic in the city, including the age of vehicles and the type of fuels used. 

The City Council has already prepared a Strategic Outline Case setting out the planned approach to developing the LAQAP. The SOC was submitted to JAQU in March, JAQU provided feedback on the SOC, and the Council is building on this to develop the package of measures that will form the basis of the LAQAP.

The next steps are to develop the LAQAP setting out the preferred package of interventions that will help to achieve compliance with the NO2 threshold in the shortest possible time. This will be submitted to Government by the end of 2018 following consultation, and finalised in early 2019. The final LAQAP will be published on this webpage.

 What are we doing to improve air quality?

Already £2.021 million grant funding has been secured from Government for an early measures programme focussing on the A4600 corridor running between the city centre and M6 Junction 2.

The package of measures includes:

  • improvement of the Walsgrave Road / Clay Lane / Brays Lane junction at Ball Hill;
  • the introduction of new technology to improve traffic management along the corridor through integration traffic signals, air quality monitoring and to get information out to drivers
  • a scheme to encourage local taxi drivers to try out locally manufactured electric taxis on a trial basis with the aim of ultimately replacing diesel powered vehicles with cleaner vehicles.
  • engagement with local schools, businesses and communities to promote active and sustainable travel for local journeys, taking car trips off the road.

The programme will be delivered during 2018 and 2019, and there will be consultation with the local community on the proposals for the Ball Hill junction, which aim to help reduce congestion and therefore the levels of harmful pollution emitted by stationery and queuing vehicles.

This package will complement the progressive upgrading of the city's bus fleet, with £1.5 million in grant funding having been secured to retrofit cleaner engines on around 100 buses operating within the city during 2018/19. The Council has also worked with National Express and Transport for the West Midlands to submit a funding bid seeking £2.3 million for the purchase of ten new electric buses that would operate within the city. The outcome of the bid should be known by the end of 2018.

A further £2 million in grant funding has also been secured that will enable the electric vehicle charging network within the city to be significantly extended, with the installation of 39 charging points, aimed at electric taxis, commencing in the next two months within the city centre, to be followed by the installation of around 100 further charging points within residential areas across the city. 

Finally, the City has collaborated over the last year with Warwickshire County Council on a joint Public Health active travel campaign "Choose How you Move": plan your journey more actively today.

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