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Air quality

Transport and air quality in Coventry

Whilst air quality has undoubtedly improved in recent decades, with changing industrial practices and a decline in the use of fossil fuel both domestically and industrially, we still exceed the National Objective for NO2 levels at a number of locations within Coventry. Transport accounts for 49 per cent of UK NO2 emissions in 2016 and the rate of reduction from this sector has slowed down (Nitrogen Dioxide in the United Kingdom Summary, Air Quality Expert Group, 2004). This is due, in part, to the prevalence of diesel vehicles and congestion. View the GHG and energy datasets produced under the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

Air pollution adversely affects the health of people at all stages of life, from childhood (including effects on the unborn child in the womb) through to older age. 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, the old, those with long-term health conditions and those living in more deprived areas. (Air Quality: A Briefing for Directors of Public Health (2017) – DEFRA, Public Health England, Local Government Association).

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 Council has worked closely with the Government's Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to develop a plan to achieve the legal limits for NO2 within Coventry in the shortest possible time. The approach to this was set out in reports to the City Council's Cabinet, and the Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board.

Local Air Quality Action Plan

We need to improve air quality within Coventry and have developed an Action Plan aimed at reducing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within the city.  Emissions from motor vehicles has been identified as being the biggest source of NO2 in the city, and traffic and air quality modelling work has identified several roads within the city that are a cause for concern.  Those locations where NO2 levels are forecast to be most likely to exceed legal limits are shown in this map.

The Action Plan has been approved by the Council’s Cabinet and it has been submitted to Government. The summary leaflet outlines what's in the plan. 

The Action Plan contains a package of measures including:

  • promoting the use of electric vehicles, including taxis, buses and private cars;
  • real time monitoring of air quality and traffic flows linked to improved technology supporting dynamic traffic management, making it easier to move traffic around the city and away from areas experiencing poor air quality;
  • initiatives to promote changes in travel behaviour and reduce car use within the city;
  • highway improvements to ease congestion (focused on Holyhead Rd/Spon End and Walsgrave Road, and;
  • construction of new cycle routes

The Council has identified a package of measures that will improve air quality in the city without the need to have a chargeable clean air zone. 

To find out more, have a look at the FAQs

Since the submission of the Action Plan detailed above, the government has published a direction on its website which puts a requirement on the Council: “to implement the benchmark option included in its local plan for NO2 compliance, to provide further air quality monitoring and to prepare a full business case all in connection with duties in respect of air quality under Part 4 of the Environment Act 1995 and as part of the UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations 2017.”

The Council is taking the following action in response:

Additional traffic and air quality modelling including clean air zone options is being undertaken in line with Article 4 of the direction and this will be submitted to government. The Council's aim is to identify a package of measures that improve air quality whilst minimising the economic impact. A full consultation with businesses and residents will then be undertaken on a revised Local Air Quality Action Plan before the full business case is submitted.

We welcome your views and you can let us know what you think of the plan by emailing us at

What are we doing to improve air quality?

Already £2.021 million grant funding has been secured from Government for an early measures programme focusing 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 secure £2.2M funding for a fleet of 10 electric buses to improve air quality in the city

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. 

ESB EV Solutions Rapid Electric Vehicle Charging Point Network

The first six of a city-wide network of  39 rapid electric vehicle charging points have been installed by ESB EV Solutions in association with Coventry City Council and are now available for customers to use.

The locations are:

  • Manor Road  - 1 Rapid (50kW) Charging Point
  • Croft Road - 1  Rapid (50kW) Charging Point
  • Queen Victoria Road - 2 (50kW) Rapid Charging Points
  • Greyfriars Road - 2 ( 50kW) Rapid Charging Points.

Access and use is available via ESB's 'EV Plug In' mobile app and/ or with an ESB EV Solutions charge point access card.

ESB offers both Pay As You Go and Subscription packages.

ESB EV Solutions pricing

For Coventry taxis

Join free for 12 months; first 60 customers receive £100 free electric charging credit, 25p per kWh incl VAT


29p per kWh


25p per kWh/£4 per month

Find your nearest ESB EV Solutions charging point.

For more information and to sign up visit: and/or download our EV Plug In app.

ES3 Logo Get it on the Google Play and App Store

To complement this further, confirmation from Government has been received on the extension of the Plug-in Car Grant scheme, with an increased emphasis upon zero emission vehicles, light vans and electric cargo bikes. This is available for both private individuals and businesses.  For the last 7 years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission vehicles. This is part of the governments Road to Zero Strategy. Go to your nearest dealer to make enquiries about this grant.

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.

Air quality and transport


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