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No plans for Coventry pollution charge

Published Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A leading Coventry councillor has hit-out at suggestions a charge could be imposed on the city to tackle traffic pollution issues.

The speculation came after West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street was quoted as saying that the measure was something that Birmingham “is going to have to do.”

But Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said there were no plans to do anything similar in Coventry.

He said: “The first thing to make clear is that the West Midlands Combined Authority does not have the power to impose a pollution charge on this city.

“The issue in Birmingham is different as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has identified that traffic pollution is a concern in their city centre but that is not the case here.

“Yes, there are a small number of roads in the city where levels are higher than we would want at certain times of the day but they are not in the city centre.

“They are roads leading in and out of the city and we are closely monitoring the issue and working with DEFRA to identify ways of improving our city’s air quality and avoiding a need for a pollution charge.

“But what is absolutely clear is that the West Midlands Combined Authority has no power to impose that on us.”

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