Our objectives and our plan to achieve them

This section sets out what we are aiming to achieve over the lifetime of this strategy and provides a summary of how we will do this.

5.1 Our objectives

In order to address the challenges, set out in section 4, we have identified four broad objectives for this strategy.  These are:

  1. Supporting the city’s economic recovery and enabling long-term growth
  2. Delivering a sustainable, low carbon transport system
  3. Ensuring equality of opportunity
  4. Maximising health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities.

In order to achieve these objectives, we need to bring about a fundamental change to the way in which people and goods travel to, from and around our city.  In particular, current levels of car travel will simply not be sustainable in the future.  It is, therefore, our aspiration to create a city where it is easy, convenient and safe to walk, cycle and travel on public transport, and where most people do not need to use a car to access the services that they need for day-to-day life.

To achieve this, action will be required across a range of different areas and a summary of our plans is provided below.  Further details are provided in a separate Implementation Plan.

In practice, not all the activity described in this section will be delivered directly by the Council.  Some things will be delivered by, or in partnership with, our various partners in the region, with whom we will continue to work closely.  This is also set out in more detail in the Implementation Plan.

5.2 Public transport (contributes to objectives 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Although the number of people using public transport has dropped considerably as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains a major part of our long-term plans to reduce car travel.  Therefore over the next fifteen years, together with our partners, we will deliver major improvements to the city’s public transport network.  A summary of these plans is provided below, however we will publish further details in a separate plan of the city’s future public transport network.

Furthermore, we will also ensure that the city’s public transport network is accessible to everyone and have recently published a Transport Charter for People with Disabilities aimed at achieving this.  We will implement all the commitments set out in that Charter.

Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR)

Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR) CVLR will be a new form of mass transit, similar to the tram systems seen in other major UK cities but with smaller, electric powered vehicles and an innovative track form. 

As CVLR will be the first system of its kind in the world, we will initially deliver a short ‘demonstrator project’ between Coventry Railway Station and Pool Meadow Bus Station. Initially, this will allow CVLR to be tested in a live, city centre environment before ultimately becoming part of a complete first route connecting the city centre to University Hospital.

“The lack of a tram system is a negative. We need one!”

Let’s Talk survey respondent

In the longer-term we will develop a complete network of routes to provide residents with a fast, frequent, accessible and affordable connection to various major employment centres and ‘transport hubs’, where people will be able to easily change between various different modes of transport. 

It is also anticipated that many other small cities may eventually wish to develop their own networks.  Therefore, by pioneering this technology and establishing a local supply chain for it, we anticipate that there will also be longer-term benefits for the local economy.

We will explore various funding options to introduce CVLR.  This could include applying for grant funding from central and regional Government, seeking investment from private sector partners and considering options to raise revenue locally.


We will also work with our partners to deliver major improvements to the city’s existing railway infrastructure and services. 

We have already invested £82m to enhance capacity at Coventry Railway Station.  Over the lifetime of this strategy, we will complement this with further improvements at Coventry to enhance connectivity and services, and at Tile Hill, where improvements will enhance the role of the station as a key transport hub.  We will also explore options for several further potential new stations.

These improvements, and the opening of the new HS2 interchange in Solihull, will enable us to deliver significant improvements to the city’s rail connectivity.  Our priorities for this are to:

  • maintain the current 3 intercity services per hour to London
  • maintain 6 services per hour to Birmingham
  • double the frequency of services to Nuneaton, Kenilworth and Leamington, to 2 trains per hour. Crucially, this will also improve onward connectivity from Leamington to Warwick
  • double the frequency of services to Oxford, to 2 trains per hour
  • introduce at least 2 direct trains per hour to Leicester and Nottingham. Research carried out by Midlands Connect suggests that this would cut journey times from 54 minutes to 38, and from 108 minutes to 70 respectively.At present, only 3% of journeys between Coventry and Leicester are made by rail, so enhanced connectivity is essential to ease pressure on the A46 / M69 corridor and to enable people to travel more sustainably between the two cities.
  • improve connectivity with the North of England, via the new HS2 interchange in Solihull.

We will also seek to better integrate our major railway stations into the city’s broader transport network, turning them into transport hubs where people can easily change between different modes of transport for both long and short distance travel.  We have already begun this work at Coventry Railway Station by delivering improved pedestrian access to the city centre, increased car and cycle parking and a new bus interchange.  In the longer-term, we will also add a further CVLR interchange.  We will seek to replicate this approach, on a smaller scale, with other new and existing stations.


Our plans to improve bus services in the city are set out in a separate Bus Service Improvement Plan, published by TfWM working with local bus operators.

In summary, that document sets out plans to:

  • ensure that all buses operating in the city are electric buses by 2025 through the successful implementation of the All Electric Bus City, through which £50 million in grant support has been secured from Government
  • ensure services continue to cover the whole city, with ‘turn up and go’ frequencies on key routes
  • freeze fares, simplify the range of different tickets available, expand the use of contactless payments, and ensure tickets can be used across all operators
  • improve the accessibility of vehicles by increasing the number of spaces available for wheelchair users and for passengers travelling with prams or pushchairs
  • improve bus stops and bus shelters, including providing more live information for passengers who are waiting.

“More buses. Buses work very well but they are not so often. You can increase bus frequency”

“Bus transport seems to work well. Ideally, buses would be electrified and run even more frequently and conveniently”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

We will also expand the current trial of WM On Demand so that it will cover the whole city, as well as extending its operating hours and seek to better integrate it into the wider network of bus services.

5.3 Walking, cycling and micromobility (objectives 1, 2, 3 & 4)

To further reduce the city’s reliance on car travel, we will also significantly improve conditions to encourage more people to walk and cycle, as well as introducing new forms of micromobility.  We will seek to do this in an inclusive way, ensuring that areas are designed to be accessible to everyone.

The following sections provide a summary of how we will do this, however we will also publish a separate, more detailed Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).


Our aspiration is to make the city as a whole a safer and more pleasant environment for pedestrians and to do this in accessible way, ensuring that our public spaces are suitable for everyone.

In doing this we will focus particularly on the city centre, with the aim of making the whole area within the ring road an area that is designed primarily for pedestrians, and on other local neighbourhood centres around the city.

To support this, we have already removed five city centre car parks and will take further steps to minimise the extent to which cars are able to drive around within the city centre, measures which will also support the delivery of the CVLR city centre demonstrator.  We will also improve pedestrian access in and out of the city centre by improving crossings at various points around the ring road and by re-modelling ring road junctions to provide better pedestrian and cycle access, building on the successful works already completed at Junction 6 (Friargate) and the works that are currently under way at Junction 7. 

Similarly, we will also seek to improve more of our local neighbourhood centres, delivering improvements to the public realm and creating more pedestrian and cyclist friendly environments.

Dedicated cycleways

We will introduce dedicated cycleways across the city, to make cycling safer and to ensure that cyclists do not have to share road space with car users on busy routes.  Work is already underway on the next generation of cycleways, which will initially connect the city centre to Coundon and to Binley.  However, in the longer-term we will develop a complete network of cycleways spanning the city.

“I know that two cycle ways are being built, this network needs to be expanded to cover all areas of the city”

“We have some good cycle routes. We need more of them and they need to join up”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

This new cycle network will also include strategic cycleways linking Coventry to neighbouring areas.  Our priorities for this are to create connections to Solihull, including UK Central, via Eastern Green and to Warwickshire, via Binley Woods, North on both the A444 corridor and via M6 Junction 2, and to Kenilworth in the South.

In addition, we will provide more secure cycle parking facilities, including at major transport hubs, such as our railway stations.

Liveable Neighbourhoods and School Streets

Liveable Neighbourhoods  (sometimes also referred to as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, or LTNs) are residential areas where a variety of tools are used to significantly reduce traffic levels and to create a more comfortable environment for pedestrians and cyclists.  This might include, for example, introducing 20mph speed limits, using bus gates to restrict the movement of private vehicles, creating more green space and installing cycle parking facilities for residents.  School Streets are areas immediately surrounding schools where temporary road closures are introduced around opening and closing times, to ensure a healthier and safer place for children and young people.

We will seek to bring forward a community-led programme of both Liveable Neighbourhoods and School Streets.  To do this, we will first identify areas where there is a strong appetite for these measures among local residents, and then design them collaboratively with those residents.

We will also seek to apply these principles to new developments, designing a low traffic approach in from the start.

Cycle hire and other forms of micromobility

In addition to the infrastructure improvements described above, TfWM have recently introduced a cycle hire scheme and we will work with them to increase the size and coverage of that scheme, and to extend it so that it also includes e-bikes.

Finally, TfWM are also piloting an e-scooter rental scheme on the University of Warwick campus. Currently, outside of the trial area, e-scooters are only legal on private property.  However, the Government has indicated that it is likely to legalise them in the future.  If this happens, we will need to consider how to incorporate e-scooters into our transport system in a way that is safe and that does not negatively impact pedestrians and road users.  We would therefore look to develop a more detailed policy on the use of e-scooters, covering issues such as where they are and are not permitted to be used, and may also seek to extend the current rental scheme as a way of expanding the use of e-scooters in a controlled way.

5.4 Road network (objectives 1, 3 & 4)

New and improved roads

We intend to significantly reduce the volume of car journeys taking place on our roads.  However, despite this, some investment in new and improved roads is still required.  This is primarily in order to:

  • enable new homes to be built
  • enable major employers, such as the University of Warwick and Jaguar Land Rover, to expand
  • remove through traffic from residential areas, making them more suitable for walking and cycling (by making improvements to more strategic routes in order to reduce ‘rat running’)
  • reduce the impact of congestion on public transport journey times
  • remove congestion in areas that have become air pollution hotspots.

Working with our partners, we will therefore focus improvements primarily on the Strategic and Key Route Network (busy roads which carry large volumes of traffic, such as the city’s A-roads), on areas where significant development is planned and on local air pollution hotspots, as identified in our Local Air Quality Action Plan.

Furthermore, we will not design new roads exclusively for cars and will ensure that where new roads are built, or existing roads are improved, that space for pedestrians, cyclists and/or public transport is also designed in.

Specific road improvements to be delivered over the lifetime of this strategy include:

  • various junction improvements on both the A46 and A444
  • a new strategic link road connecting the A46 at Stoneleigh Junction initially to the South of Coventry, and then ultimately to either Solihull or the West of Coventry
  • a further new strategic link road through the planned SUE at Keresley
  • new roads, and the improvement of some existing ones, in the vicinity of the ongoing developments at Friargate
  • improvements to the London Road corridor including junction improvements, traffic management and cycle routes.

We will also publish a separate plan of our future highway network, showing how we will manage our highway network overall and how these improvements will fit in to wider network.

Car parking

As noted above, we have already removed five city centre car parks, in response to changes in demand. We are now carrying out a wider review of our Parking Strategy and, depending on the outcome of this, may make further changes. 

Our revised Parking Strategy will ensure that there is sufficient parking to meet demand, while avoiding any overprovision. If and when any further existing car parks are no longer required, this may allow us to release this land so that it can be used for other purposes.

Highway maintenance

We will seek to maintain all the city’s highways, including roads, footpaths and cycleways, to a high standard.  Our plans to do this are set out in a separate Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy.

Traffic management and enforcement

We will work with TfWM to improve our management of the road network, including by introducing 5G monitoring, and to prepare our road network for the rollout of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).  This will include enabling testing to take place on a newly installed CAV testbed.

We will also ensure that we proactively enforce the rules of the road by using the powers available to us to take enforcement action against drivers who do not adhere to them.  We have already begun this with the installation of new average speed cameras at key locations in the city and will seek to roll these out on all the main radial routes into the city over the lifetime of this strategy.

In addition, we will also consider our approach to enforcing:

  • moving traffic offences, such as drivers making banned turns, stopping in yellow boxes and passing through bus gates, subject to Government legislating to allow local authority to take on these enforcement powers
  • on-street parking offences, such as parking on double yellow lines
  • ‘pavement parking’. The Government has recently consulted on options to give Council's new powers to take action against drivers who cause an obstruction for pedestrians, and so our approach to this will depend on the outcome of that consultation.

5.5 Zero-emission and shared vehicles (objectives 2 & 4)

We recognise that a shift to zero emission vehicles will not, on its own, be sufficient for the city to achieve its carbon reduction targets and are therefore seeking to significantly reduce levels of car travel over the lifetime of this strategy.  However, we also recognise that some journeys will continue to be made by car, and there will also still be significant demand for road travel from the freight industry and from public transport operators.  

We will therefore seek to accelerate the switch from petrol and diesel vehicles to zero emission alternatives.  The majority of our plans to do this will be set out in more detail in a separate Electric Vehicle and Charging Infrastructure Strategy. However, in summary, we will promote the take-up of electric and other zero emission vehicles by:

  • substantially expanding the city’s existing network of public electric vehicle charge points
  • creating super charging hubs and a multi-fuel hub.  These will be service station style facilities located on the Strategic Route Network which will provide rapid charging/refuelling facilities for owners of zero emission vehicles
  • encouraging local businesses to switch to electric vehicles, including via our Try Before You Buy E-fleet scheme
  • piloting innovative methods of electric vehicle charging, including static induction (wireless) charging and dynamic charging (charging of a moving vehicle).  These technologies could help to support operators of different types of vehicles, including larger vehicles and vehicles with very high mileage, to switch to zero emission alternatives.

Finally, we will also electrify Coventry’s public transport services.  As well as replacing all buses with electric vehicles by 2025, we will also begin only granting taxi licenses to zero emission capable vehicles from 2024.

“Coventry taxis and local buses must become electric to show we are serious about tackling the climate emergency and air pollution”

Let’s Talk survey respondent

All the above will create additional demands for electricity and so we will work with energy suppliers to ensure that the local grid has sufficient capacity to meet this growing need, as well as exploring options to generate more renewable energy locally.

We would also like more of those journeys that are still made by car to be made using shared, rather than privately owned, vehicles.  At present two private companies offer car sharing services, sometimes called ‘car clubs’, in Coventry.  We believe that these services can help to persuade more residents that they do not need to own a car, by allowing them to easily hire one as and when they need it, while making the majority of trips by walking, cycling and public transport.  This is supported by research which shows that households who rely on shared vehicles tend to make fewer car journeys than those who own a vehicle. 

However, the number of vehicles that are currently available via car clubs/car sharing services is  relatively small. Therefore, we will work with the private sector with the aim of significantly expanding this, as well as increasing the number of electric vehicles that are available for hire.

5.6 Freight (objectives 1 & 2)

The movement of goods around the city is a significant contributor to congestion and emissions on the highway network, with light goods vehicles in particular growing in number as people’s habits change and more shopping is done via home deliveries.  

We will encourage and support companies to switch to zero emission vehicles through the actions described above, and will also explore innovative ways of taking goods vehicles off the highway network,  including investigating the potential for electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles, or drones, to form part of the supply chain instead of road vehicles.  To that end, Coventry has already hosted Air-One, a pop-up facility established on a temporary basis as a ‘vertiport’ for eVTOLs.  Air-One was the first facility of its kind in the world. 

The Council will further explore the potential for this technology to be used to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads including, for example, those used for home deliveries.  This might involve using eVTOLs and other types of zero emission vehicles, such as e-cargo bikes or CVLR, to establish freight consolidation centres (sites where goods travelling into and out of the city can be collected and transferred to a sustainable mode of transport for the first/last few miles of their journey) or to make greater use of parcel lockers (where goods are delivered to and collected from a secure locker in a public place, such a train or bus station, as an alternative to home delivery). In addition, there may also be potential for eVTOLs to be used to transport passengers.

Where goods vehicles are still necessary to transport bulk goods or supplies to industrial, retail and other business premises, we will work with those businesses and their commercial partners to ensure that goods traffic remains on the strategic and key road networks for the maximum length of the journey, ensuring that use of the local road network is kept to a minimum.  Where necessary and appropriate, this approach will be enforced through environment weight or width restrictions to ensure that larger vehicles do not use inappropriate routes.

5.7 Encouraging behaviour change (objectives 2 & 4)

In addition to the physical improvements to transport infrastructure and services described in the previous sections, we will also seek to actively encouraging a change in residents’ behaviour with the aim of encouraging more travel by active and sustainable modes, such as walking, cycling and public transport.  This will include providing better information to residents about the full range of travel options that are available, to allow residents to make more informed choices about how they travel around the city, and to maximise the benefits gained from investment in new cycle routes and improved public transport. 

We will work with TfWM and other partners, such as Warwickshire County Council, to develop tools that help residents to easily plan their journeys across a range of modes and will explore innovative ways to offer incentives to those who make more sustainable travel choices.  This includes working with schools, businesses and local communities to support schemes, events and activities focussed on cycle training, promotion, and marketing, specifically targeting corridors where cycle routes have been improved.  We will also support the development of an employer network focussed on working with local businesses to promote sustainable travel options for their employees, and their business activity, including freight and servicing needs.

To complement the EV charging infrastructure programme, we will also build on existing initiatives, such as the mobility credit scheme which rewards residents who scrap a heavily polluting vehicle with ‘mobility credits’, which can be spent on alternative travel options.  Depending on the outcome of this trial, we will look to roll this out more widely over the lifetime of the strategy and will also work with house builders to offer mobility credits to residents moving into new homes, as part of our approach to meeting the additional travel demand that is generated by new homes in a sustainable way.

Transport Strategy