Coventry Local Air Quality Action Plan
Cleaner air for Coventry - the next stage
Air pollution is having a harmful impact on the health of people living, working and studying within Coventry. Like many towns and cities throughout the UK, roadside pollution levels, especially those resulting from Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions from traffic, are a concern.
In Coventry we have analysed the scale of the problem by air quality monitoring and traffic modelling undertaken by the Council.
Since 2017 the Council has been working closely with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit [JAQU] to develop an Action Plan to reduce NO2 levels below the legal limit of 40ug/m3 in the shortest possible time.
In February 2020, following submission of the Outline Business Case and modelling in 2019, the Government confirmed that Coventry does not need to introduce a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ D), which would have seen older and more polluting vehicles charged for entering a large area of the city.
Instead, the Government has agreed that the package of measures put forward by the Council could be effective in reducing NO2 levels without the wider social and economic disbenefits that the CAZ D would have created.
In line with the Government direction, the Full Business Case has now been completed, and was submitted to Government in December 2020/February 2021, following Cabinet approval.
The resulting Local Air Quality Action Plan (LAQAP) has been based on air quality and traffic monitoring data and modelling, and the package of measures focusses on improving NO2 levels at those locations where particular problems have been identified, which are Holyhead Road and Foleshill Road.
The LAQAP package focuses upon encouraging local trips to be made by walking and cycling rather than the car, with significant investment in a new high-quality cycle route between Coundon and the city centre, and on an engagement programme with schools, businesses and local communities building on the successful work already done in the Walsgrave corridor.
The Holyhead Road abatement element of the package includes targeted junction and road layout changes on Holyhead Road and parallel routes to allow traffic to flow more freely, reduce congestion and to provide better walking and cycling routes into the city. These measures will allow the traffic flows on Holyhead Road to be reduced through restrictions if necessary to allow NO2 levels to be brought below legal limits on this route.
On Foleshill Road, traffic management measures will be introduced to remove through traffic, which will be encouraged to use the A444 to access the city centre instead.
The government has endorsed this package and has awarded the Council £25.4 million in grant funding to deliver it.
Coventry Local Air Quality Action Plan consultation
The Council consulted with the public and businesses on the Plan in March 2018 and in Spring 2020 and amended the package to reflect the feedback received.
The Council then consulted on the detail of the schemes in Spon End, Junction 7 and Upper Hill Street in November and December 2021. The responses have been captured in a Consultation Report. The Council considered all the comments received and the key themes and the Council’s responses have been documented.
The Council has now reviewed the detail of the scheme designs following the comments that were received and is making some changes, but some preparatory work needs to take place so you may see some activity at the sites. The Government’s legal direction for the Council to implement the Plan still applies, however, and any substantive changes to the package will require Government approval before they could be applied.