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. 

Coventry Local Air Quality Action Plan

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. You can see more detail about this in the Local Air Quality Action Plan page. 

Things we are doing to improve air quality

We are doing lots of things to help improve air quality in the city. You can find out more about each of the initiatives below by clicking on the title links.

Segregated cycleways 

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

We have a network of electric vehicle charging points across the city for individuals and businesses

Electric fleet first - try before you buy scheme

Coventry City Council is gearing up for the start of the Electric Fleet First project. Thanks to funding from Highways England, this will enable us to provide electric vehicles for local organisations to trial. The two-year project will support efforts to reduce NO2 emissions on the local and strategic road network by encouraging businesses to switch to electric vans, pool cars and taxis.

Mobility Credits

In a national first, Coventry residents with an older, polluting car can exchange their car for £3000 of mobility credits.

Very Light Rail

Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR) is a research and development project, using the latest automotive expertise developed in the region to deliver an innovative and affordable light rail system.

Electric Buses

Coventry will be the first city in the country to host all electric buses. The target date is by 2025.

Cycling initiatives

We have a number of initiatives to help people cycle more.

Do your bit for air quality

Anyone can make a difference by just making small changes to their everyday routines, The Clean Air Hub has everything you need to know about air pollution in one place.

Car use

Road traffic is a major source of air pollution in Coventry. You can help reduce this impact by:

In the home

  • choose paints and wood preservatives that are marked as containing low VOC content.
  • avoid having garden bonfires. As well as annoying your neighbours, bonfires release poisonous gases and particulates which add to local air pollution and global warming.  Compost and recycle your garden waste. See our bonfires page for information on composting and the legal action that can be taken for smoke nuisances.
  • Please see the Burnright website for more information about using your fire correctly. This includes advice on choosing the right fuel, what not to burn and how to use your fire or woodburning stove.

Further advice is available from the Clear Air Hub website.

Air quality and transport

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street