1.1 Purpose of this strategy

A safe, sustainable and reliable transport system is essential to the effective functioning of any community, and Coventry is no different.  This strategy sets out Coventry City Council’s plans to deliver a transport system that meets the need of the city’s population, businesses and wider community, providing access to community facilities and supporting a thriving economy and a healthy population.

The strategy recognises the need to reduce inequalities in access to economic, educational and cultural opportunities and in public health, and to ultimately improve the quality of life for our citizens.

It sets out plans to bring about a fundamental change to the way that people and goods travel to, from and around the city in the future, and identifies how we will work with various partners to achieve this.

More specifically, it includes:

  • the case for change. A summary of how our transport system is working currently and why it needs to change
  • a long-term vision, including a set of objectives which we will aim to meet over the next 15 years
  • a broad description of what we will do over the lifetime of the strategy (2022/23 – 2036/37) to achieve these objectives. Further detail is set out in an accompanying Implementation Plan.
  • a summary of how we will measure our progress, through annual reporting.

This strategy is fully integrated with the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Local Transport Plan (LTP), and the two documents together provide the transport policy framework for Coventry.

The strategy will be subject to regular review, to allow for response to changes in national or regional policies, the emergence of new technology such as autonomous vehicles, or to respond to changes in travel behaviour, such as those brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Annual Progress Report will also be prepared to outline progress in implementing the strategy, and to report any changes to the Implementation Plan.

1.2 Vision and key principles

The overall purpose of our strategy is to offer a safe, sustainable, equitable and resilient transport system, which enables our residents, visitors and businesses to thrive. In seeking to realise this vision, there are also some important principles that we will adhere to.

We will:

  • engage with residents, businesses and institutions across the city and ensure that our plans reflect and incorporate their views.
  • strive to ensure that all parts of the transport system are accessible to everyone.
  • be flexible in how we achieve our objectives, responding to changes in travel patterns arising from factors such as the impact of the pandemic upon working practices, emerging new technology, and increasing fuel prices.
  • be innovative. Coventry already has a reputation as a leader in the field of transport innovation. We will seek to maintain and strengthen this over the lifetime of the strategy.
  • balance tackling local challenges with improving Coventry’s regional, national and international connections
  • focus on detailed short and medium-term planning with consideration for longer-term thinking
  • take a ‘multi-modal’ approach, recognising that no one form of transport can meet everybody’s travel needs. This will include a package of walking, cycling, public transport improvements, measures aiming at encouraging more sustainable car use and an approach that embraces emerging modes of travel arising from new technology.
  • think holistically, combining physical improvements to the city’s transport infrastructure with other measures, including measures that encourage and incentivise people to change their travel habits through creating a more attractive environment and accessible city.
  • work closely with transport network managers and service providers to implement the transport strategy, recognising that the City Council has direct responsibility for only part of the transport system.
  • align our strategy with those of our neighbours and with other key partners working in the region, and work collaboratively with them to implement it.

1.3 Engagement with residents and stakeholders

As part of the work to develop this strategy, we carried out two surveys of residents, between February and March 2021 and between February and April 2022, using the Council’s online consultation platform Let’s Talk.  In total we received almost 400 responses from residents across the two surveys.  We also engaged with residents via a drop-in session held at the Council House in July 2022 and held specific workshops to meet with key stakeholders while the strategy was being developed.

The views of individual survey participants have been included throughout the strategy to illustrate key points. 

Transport Strategy

Strategic context

This section summarises the current priorities of international, national, regional and local policymakers, which have influenced this strategy.  It identifies the key strategies which support, or which are supported by, this document.

2.1 International priorities

There are several international agreements which are relevant to this strategy.

Tackling climate change

In 2015, the UK joined 196 other parties in signing the Paris Agreement on climate change.  This was a major international commitment to a goal of keeping global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius (compared to pre-industrial levels) and to pursue efforts to limit this even further to 1.5 degrees.  Transport is a major source of global emissions, particularly in high income countries such as the UK. 

To deliver on the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement, in 2019 the Government set itself a legally binding target to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Ensuring sustainable development

Also in 2015, the United Nations published its Sustainable Development Goals, described as 17 goals to transform our world.  These aim to address major global challenges, including poverty and inequality, health and education and climate change, and should be a consideration in all nations’ plans for the future.

The 17 goals are:

  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and wellbeing
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduced inequalities
  11. Sustainable cities and communities
  12. Responsible consumption and production
  13. Climate action
  14. Life below water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnerships for the goals

Transport impacts directly many of these goals.  For example, improvements in transport services and transport infrastructure are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving health and wellbeing, reducing inequalities and creating sustainable cities and communities.

2.2 National priorities

The UK Government has also identified its own strategic priorities, several of which are directly relevant to this strategy.

Tackling climate change

As noted above, the UK Government is legally committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  As transport is currently the largest source of UK emissions, Government is targeting a major shift in the way that people and goods travel in order to achieve this.

In July 2021 the Department for Transport (DfT) published Decarbonising Transport: A Better, Greener Great Britain, its strategy to achieve this.  The strategy’s priorities include encouraging a shift in travel behaviour away from car travel and towards both public and active transport, replacing existing passenger and freight vehicles with zero emission alternatives and establishing the UK as a hub for green transport technology and innovation.

More detailed plans are set out in various further strategy documents focused on specific modes, including:

  • The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail – a White Paper which proposes substantial reforms of the rail industry.  This will see major changes, including the creation of a new organisation, Great British Rail, and the publishing of a new 30-year strategy covering the rail industry as a whole
  • Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands – setting out the Government’s plans to invest in improved rail infrastructure by delivering new lines, including phase 2a of HS2, and by upgrading and electrifying many existing lines across the North and the Midlands
  • Bus Back Better – a new National Bus Strategy aimed at reversing a long-term decline in levels of bus patronage (outside of London).  It includes plans to make services more frequent and more reliable, to better integrate services that are operated by different bus companies and to accelerate the rollout of electric buses
  • Gear Change: A Bold Vision for Walking and Cycling­ – a further strategy focused on bringing about a long-term shift towards active travel.  Gear Change includes a specific commitment to ensure that by 2030 50 per cent of all journeys in towns and cities will be made by walking and cycling
  • Taking Charge: The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategysets out plans to remove access to charging infrastructure as a barrier to the take up of electric vehicles. The strategy envisages that by 2030 recharging will be more convenient than refuelling at a petrol station and that there will be at least 300,000 public charge points in the UK
  • Future of Freight: A Long-Term Plana further strategy which includes plans decarbonise the freight industry. 

As well as enabling the UK to achieve its goal of being Net Zero by 2050, these changes also form a key part of the Government’s economic strategy.  In November 2020 the Government published The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which sets out plans to invest in order to both boost to country’s economic recovery, following the Covid-19 pandemic, and to tackle climate change.  The key transport priorities included in that plan are:

  • accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles
  • green public transport, walking and cycling.

‘Levelling up’ across the UK

Government has also expressed a desire to address economic and health inequalities between different parts of the country.  This includes reducing deprivation in parts of the Midlands and the North of England, which are perceived to have been ‘left behind’ economically over recent decades.  Investment in transport infrastructure to improve connectivity across the Midlands and the North is a key component of this.

In the West Midlands, major planned investments include:

  • HS2, a new high-speed rail line connecting London to the North of England.  Two stations are being built in the West Midlands, in Solihull and central Birmingham
  • the Midlands Rail Hub, a £2 billion package of further rail improvements
  • improvements to the region’s Strategic Road Network, via National Highways' current and future Road Investment Strategies, including the grade separation of the Binley and Walsgrave junctions on the A46 Coventry Eastern Bypass.

These investments are intended to support the region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and to secure future economic growth.

Building more homes

The Government has set a target to significantly increase the number of new homes being built to 300,000 per year.  One of the policy measures being introduced to achieve this is substantial reform of the planning system. This could result in many Councils being set more challenging targets for the number of new homes that need to be built in their area in the future, creating further travel demand which will need to be met in a sustainable way.

2.3 Regional priorities

The picture with regards to regional priorities is more complex.  There are several different bodies with an interest in improving transport across the Midlands, each of which has a different remit and, in many cases, covers a slightly different geographic area.  Each of these organisations has its own strategic priorities.

However, of particular importance is WMCA’s regional LTP.  This is currently under review, with WMCA planning to publish a new plan before the end of 2022.  A Green Paper published in June 2021 makes clear that this refreshed LTP will focus on addressing five ‘motivations for change’.  These are tackling the climate emergency, reducing transport inequality, reducing physical inactivity, enhancing local communities & places and building a strong inclusive economy.  This strategy is intended to align closely with the refreshed LTP and to set out Coventry’s local contribution to achieving the region’s wider vision and objectives.

Also of particular significance is the WMCA’s Climate Change Strategy, #WM2041.  This sets a target for the region to achieve net zero status by 2041, nine years earlier than the current national target.  In 2016 transport accounted for 39 per cent of the region’s emissions.

Other key regional strategies, which are also supported by this document include:

  • The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy
  • WMCA’s Strategic Economic Plan, Making our Mark
  • Coventry & Warwickshire Local Economic Partnership’s (CWLEP) Updated Strategic Economic Plan
  • CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework
  • Midlands Connect’s Strategic Transport Plan (also currently in development)
  • Transport for West Midlands’ (TfWM) Bus Service Improvement Plan
  • The Coventry & Warwickshire Health Protection Strategy.

As with the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution at a national level, several of these documents set out the benefits of investing in green industries in order to create jobs and tackle climate change.  There is a clear aspiration to make the West Midlands a focal point for research into, and for the manufacturing of, zero emission transport options, such as electric vehicles and Very Light Rail (a new form of battery powered mass transit, similar to existing tram systems but suitable for smaller cities).

2.4 Local priorities

At a local level, there are also several relevant plans and strategies.  However, of particular importance is the Council’s Local Plan.  A review of this is likely to begin shortly, however the current plan covers the period 2011-31 and sets out plans to stimulate economic growth and to meet a growing housing need.

Coventry is a rapidly growing city, with a need for a large number of new homes.  The current Local Plan makes provision for 25,000 new homes to be built by 2031.  In addition, further commercial development is also planned.  This includes, for example, the establishment of a new business district at Friargate, in the city centre, and the regeneration of City Centre South.  These developments, which are described in more detail in section 4, will create a significant increase in travel demand, which will need to be met in sustainable and equitable way, without worsening existing levels of congestion or the city’s carbon footprint.

The Council is also currently working with on a new Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.  This will cover the period up to 2030, by which time the city aims to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent relative to 1990 levels.  This is an interim target as the Council and its partners work towards achieving net zero.  To support the development and successful delivery of this strategy, the Council has also established an Independent Board, consisting of senior representatives of major businesses, public agencies, charities and voluntary agencies.

Other key local strategies, which are also supported by this document include:

  • Coventry City Council’s One Coventry Plan, this sets out the Council’s priorities and the way in which we will work to achieve these.  This is also currently being reviewed with a draft plan for 2022-2030 having been published in June 2022
  • The Coventry Health and Wellbeing Strategy, MARMOT Strategy and the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report
  • Coventry City Council’s Local Air Quality Action Plan
  • Coventry City Council’s Economic Development and Skills Strategy
  • Coventry City Council’s City Centre Area Action Plan
  • The Coventry Partnership’s Sustainable Community Strategy
  • Coventry City Council’s Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy
  • Coventry City Council’s Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Several of these local strategies place a strong emphasis on ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and that it benefits those who are currently economically disadvantaged, as well as the need to rapidly reduce the city’s carbon footprint and to improve health outcomes, and inequalities in health outcomes, for local residents.  

Finally, both the Local Plans and LTPs of neighbouring local authorities are also highly relevant.  For example, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council published its current LTP, Solihull Connected, in 2016, Birmingham City Council published the Birmingham Transport Plan in 2021 and Warwickshire County Council is also currently developing a new LTP.  Furthermore, Warwick and Stratford District Councils are also currently collaborating on developing a new South Warwickshire Local Plan, while Nuneaton Borough Council is also reviewing their current Local Plan.

Given the high volume of journeys that regularly take place between Coventry and these areas, this strategy is also intended to align closely with these documents. 

2.5 Summary

Considering all these national, regional and local strategies together, a clear set of priorities emerge for this transport strategy, which needs to:

  • Decarbonise the transport network to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions and support the net zero carbon targets set locally, regionally and nationally
  • support the city’s economy to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and secure future economic growth, including by investing in green industries such as zero emission transport
  • ensure that future growth is inclusive and delivers benefits for those who are on lower incomes or who are currently excluded from the labour market
  • capitalise on the potential benefits of HS2 and other planned improvements to regional, national and international connectivity
  • deliver improved public health outcomes, and reduce inequalities in health outcomes, for residents
  • enable new homes to be built to meet a growing housing need, and to meet the increased travel demand arising from this in a sustainable and equitable way.

These issues are explored in more detail in section 4.

Transport Strategy

Current travel patterns

This section provides a brief summary of recent travel patterns in and around Coventry, including the places that people most commonly travel to and form and the modes of transport that they most commonly use.

3.1 Travel demand

In 2021 there were 345,000 people living in Coventry, an increase of 8.9% from 2011, meaning that it is growing more quickly than the UK average.  A total of 161,000 people are employed in the city, while a further 66,000 are students in higher education.

This generates a significant level of travel demand, both within the city and to and from neighbouring areas.  Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, demand was particularly high during peak commuting hours, when large numbers of people travelled to and from the city from places like Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, Rugby, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and Birmingham.  However, the largest group of commuters were those who both live and work within Coventry.  In 2011 it was estimated that 78,000 residents regularly commuted within the city.

Travel demand fell significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic and this particularly affected commuter journeys.  The effects of this are still being felt now, even after the removal of all travel restrictions.  For example, a TfWM survey showed that in Summer 2021 38 per cent of workers were still working entirely from home, with a further 25 per cent splitting their time between home and a place of work.

3.2 Current travel patterns by mode

Car travel

Despite its compact nature, and relatively strong public transport network, Coventry is a city that is largely dominated by car travel. 

Both the total number of cars owned by Coventry residents and the number of cars per household have been increasing steadily over the long-term. In recent years, the Council has encouraged residents to switch from petrol and diesel powered cars to electric, and other zero emission vehicles, including by installing more than 500 electric vehicle charge points – one of the largest public networks of charge points in the country. 

Government statistics show that the number of electric vehicles in Coventry is increasing rapidly.  However, they remain a small minority of the total.  At the end of 2021 there were 1,164 battery electric vehicles registered to addresses in the city.  When other forms of ultra-low emission capable vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids, are also included this figure rises to 1,905.

Regular counts of private and public transport trips into the centre of Coventry show that between 2011 and 2021 cars and taxis consistently accounted for around 75 - 80 per cent of both in-bound and out-bound trips.  For commuter journeys, data from the Council’s regular household survey suggests that, both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, around 70 per cent of commuter journeys made by Coventry residents were made by car (either as a driver or as a passenger). 

The Council’s household survey also shows that residents believe that car is the easiest way to travel with, in 2021, 85 per cent of respondents agreeing that it was easy to get around Coventry that way.  However, despite this view, congestion is common on the parts of the city’s road network, particularly during peak hours.  Furthermore, the high volume of car trips also contributes heavily to the city’s carbon footprint, as well as creating air pollution and leading to around 600-700 casualties from road traffic accidents every year. These issues are discussed in more detail in section 4.

“The only convenient and safe way to travel is via a car”

“When there are more cars back on the road again, the sheer volume of traffic is just too much”

“Car traffic is terrible at peak times”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

While there were substantial falls in the number of people travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic, car travel did not fall as sharply as other modes during lockdowns and was quicker to recover afterwards.  By June 2021, the total number of cars on the city’s roads had reached pre-Covid levels, albeit with less pronounced peaks during the morning and afternoon ‘rush hours’.


Motorcycles make up a very small proportion of traffic on the city’s roads.  Government statistics show that at the end of 2021 there were 4,300 motorcycles registered to Coventry addresses.  However, motorcyclists are disproportionally likely to be involved in serious and fatal road traffic accidents, while anecdotal feedback also suggests that they sometimes have difficulty accessing suitable and secure parking facilities.

Public transport

The city is served by four railway stations (Coventry, Tile Hill, Canley and Coventry Arena) and has good rail connections to London, with (prior to the temporary emergency timetable introduced by Avanti West Coast in August 2022 as a result of a number of industry challenges) 3 high speed trains per hour from Coventry, and Birmingham, with 6 trains per hour from Coventry.  Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger numbers were increasing steadily, with the Office of Rail and Road estimating that there were more than 9 million entries and exits across the city’s 4 stations in 2019/20. 

The new £82 million station building and car park opened at Coventry Station in 2022, significantly improving the capacity of the station to handle passengers. The building also houses dedicated motorcycle and secure cycle parking as well as a new bus interchange with direct connections into the station concourse.

To maximise the benefits of this investment, there is significant scope to improve the city’s rail connectivity.  For example, local services to Leamington, Kenilworth and Nuneaton currently only run once per hour, while the city has no direct rail links to the East Midlands at all.  As a result, Midlands Connect estimate that only 3 per cent of trips between Coventry and Leicester are made by rail.  This compares to 30 per cent of trips between Coventry and Birmingham.

A number of studies are underway, led by Network Rail, Midlands Connect and the West Midlands Rail Executive, to examine the case for further investment in the West Midlands rail network, over and above the ongoing investment in HS2.  These include consideration of infrastructure improvements and new stations needed to enhance the role that rail can play in getting people to, and around, the city of Coventry.

“Good railway links to London and Birmingham, and thus to the rest of the UK from these nodes”

“The frequency of trains in and out of Coventry might be increased, for instance to Nuneaton and other places where people who live in Coventry… work”

“Although rail services are much improved compared to 20-30 years ago, much still needs to be done in terms of providing services direct to more destinations”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

The city also has an extensive network of bus services and, prior to Covid-19, levels of patronage had remained broadly consistent in recent years, with over 250 million bus journeys being taken annually across the West Midlands.  The city’s bus network is largely based on a series of radial routes which connect the city centre to various residential and employment centres.  Longer distance services also connect it to neighbouring conurbations including, for example, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Solihull and Birmingham.  National Express coach services also provide connections to other UK-wide destinations.

There are some challenges regarding the reliability of services, which can be affected by congestion on the road network, and the frequency of services on some routes, particularly outside of peak hours.  The radial nature of the city’s bus network also means that many passengers need to travel into the city centre in order to change buses.  This often leads to longer journey times that make bus services uncompetitive, compared to travelling by car. Furthermore, disabled residents, particularly wheelchair users, have raised concerns about difficulties accessing services. 

“Bus services are generally good, but need a more regular service outside peak times”

“The bus network, whilst the coverage is good, doesn’t always perform reliably”

“Bus routes are generally good but certain journeys across the city are slow because of (the) need to go via (the) city centre and change”

“Buses do not have enough seating for passengers that are wheelchair users”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

Working with TfWM, the City Council has recently introduced a new kind of bus service with no fixed route or timetable.  The service, called WM On Demand, operates in a similar way to ride hailing services like Uber but with larger vehicles, allowing passengers’ journeys to be aggregated.  The current WM On Demand service is a trial which covers about half of the city.  In early 2022, the trial service was completing around 600 rides a week.

During the pandemic, the sharpest falls in travel demand were seen on public transport.  During the initial lockdown in March 2020 bus patronage dropped to around 10 per cent of pre-Covid levels and rail to around 2 per cent.  At the time of publication, these still have not fully recovered and were both typically around 10 – 20 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels, reducing revenue from ticket sales and making it harder to maintain pre-pandemic service levels.  Furthermore, the after effects of the pandemic have also created industry-wide challenges, including driver shortages, which are further affecting the reliability of some services.

The Council has supported the WMCA in promoting an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme, which will set the framework for the future delivery of bus services within the region, setting out the required standards expected of bus companies, local authorities and the WMCA in delivering bus services and supporting infrastructure.  This includes a requirement that all bus services operating within the city after 2025 will be operated by electric buses. 

The Council has also supported the development of the WMCA’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, submitted to Government in June 2022.  This has led to the award of an indicative £88 million in funding for bus service improvements within the region, which is particularly important given the pressures on bus services outlined above.

Walking and cycling

Although Coventry is a relatively compact city, the number of people walking and cycling for local journeys is not as high as it could be. 

While data from the Council’s household survey suggests that many residents walk when escorting children to school (42 per cent) or travelling to their own place of education (31 per cent), in 2021 only 9 per cent of commuters travelled to work on foot.

Levels of cycling are particularly low, accounting for only around 1 per cent of journeys into the centre of Coventry and between 1 and 4 per cent of residents’ journeys when they are commuting, escorting children to school or travelling to their own place of education.

A lack of convenient and safe routes for cyclists is likely to be a barrier to higher levels of uptake.  In 2021 only 52 per cent of residents agreed that it was easy to travel around Coventry by bike.  This is significantly fewer than the number who felt it was easy to walk, drive and travel on public transport.

Prior to current investment in new cycle routes, the existing cycle network in Coventry is variable in standard, and where off-road routes are provided these are typically shared with pedestrians

“Coventry is a city (where) you can cycle to most places quite quickly but the roads don’t feel very safe for cyclists”

“Getting around Coventry by bicycle is not a pleasant or safe feeling thing to do”

Let’s Talk survey respondents


Over recent years there has been an increase in the number of goods vehicles on our roads, especially light goods vehicles. This is in keeping with national trends driven by the increasing use of home delivery services, which accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Heavy goods vehicles account for around 2 per of journeys into and out of the centre of Coventry. However, higher volumes can be observed in some parts of the city, depending on the nature of the local businesses that are located there.  These trips therefore also need to be accommodated in a sustainable way, and with minimal impact on the surrounding community.  The use of local roads by heavy goods vehicles is a frequent complaint from local communities, and it can be challenging to ensure that such vehicles take the most appropriate route.

Transport Strategy

The case for change

This section provides a summary of the key challenges that this strategy is intended to address.  It is informed by national, regional and local priorities and by how the city’s transport system is operating currently, as set out in sections 2 and 3.

In summary, we have identified seven specific challenges which this strategy is intended to address, and which are discussed below.

4.1 Tackling climate change

As noted in section 2, the UK Government has set itself a legally binding target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while as a region the West Midlands is currently aiming to reach this milestone nine years earlier.  Coventry City Council’s new Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy will set out our own plans to initially achieve an interim target of a 55 per cent reduction in emissions, relative to 1990 levels, by 2030.

To achieve these targets it is clear that a major change is needed in the way in which we travel.  Midlands Connect estimate that in Coventry in 2019 384,000 tonnes of CO2 (or equivalent amounts of other greenhouse gases) were generated from transport.  This is roughly equivalent to around 1 tonne of CO2 for every person who lives in the city.  By far the largest share of these emissions is generated by car travel.

“The overriding message of the strategy should be about climate change. Everything should be focused towards reducing the amount of carbon (and related) emissions in the city”

Let’s Talk survey respondent

Current levels of car travel will simply not be sustainable in the future.  This is true, even though a shift towards electric and other forms of zero emission vehicles is expected to make car travel more environmentally sustainable.  Policymakers at both a national and regional level are clear that this alone will not be enough to meet current carbon reduction targets.  In practice this will require both a significant reduction in the total number of vehicles, and distance travelled by them, on the city’s roads and a shift towards zero emission vehicles for those journeys which are still made by car.

Furthermore, action will also be required to address emissions from other kinds of vehicles, such as heavy and light goods vehicles, buses, and trains.  This will require leadership at a regional and national level, with investment in, for example, the electrification of the rail network being dependent upon nationally decided investment programmes.

4.2 Improving health outcomes for local people

Life expectancy has been rising in Coventry over the long-term but remains below both national and regional averages.  Furthermore, there are substantial variations between different parts of the city, with women in the most prosperous parts of the city living on average for 8.4 years longer than those in the most deprived parts.  For men this rises to 10.7 years.

Health inequalities are strongly linked to both economic inequality and levels of physical inactivity.  Higher levels of walking and cycling and improved public transport options, which enable those on the lowest incomes to easily access major employment centres and transport hubs, will be essential to address these issues.

Air pollution is also a significant concern.  Diesel, and to a lesser extent petrol, vehicles are major producers of both NO2 and PM2.5.  Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of these pollutants can be very serious and can include, for example, increased risk of asthma, heart disease, strokes, lung disease and dementia.  In 2014 Public Health England estimated that in Coventry the equivalent of 168 deaths per year could be attributed to exposure to PM2.5.

“(I am) hugely concerned about air quality as a result of congestion”

Let’s Talk survey respondents

At present there are a number of air pollution hotspots across the city where average annual concentrations of NO2 currently exceed the legal limit (40µg/m3).  Coventry was designated as an Air Quality Management Area in 2009 and in 2021 a Ministerial Direction was issued which legally requires the Council to implement an Action Plan to reduce NO2 levels below this legal limit.  The Council’s approved Local Air Quality Action Plan sets out a package of measures to reduce concentrations of air pollution in these areas, and to bring them below the legal limit in the shortest possible time.  However, achieving a more general, long-term improvement across the city as a whole will require further action.

4.3 Improving road safety

As noted in section 3, at present around 600-700 casualties occur each year as a result of incidents on Coventry’s roads.  While this has reduced significantly over the longer-term, these numbers had remained more consistent in the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, indicating a flattening of the previous downward trend.  The number of serious and fatal incidents fluctuates from year to year, however in 2019 there were 100 serious injuries and 3 deaths resulting from collisions on the road network.

Furthermore, some types of road users are at greater risk than others.  For example, in 2019 approximately one third of serious and fatal incidents involved either a cyclist or a motorcyclist, despite these groups making up a small proportion of all traffic on our roads.

It is our ambition both to reduce the number of incidents overall and to reduce the number of fatal incidents to zero.  We recognise that this is an ambitious target but every fatality has a significant impact on the local community, and we believe it is right to be ambitious in seeking to minimise the number of people who are killed or injured when using the city’s transport network.

Initiatives such as the introduction of Average Speed Enforcement on main routes into the city have been highly successful in reducing casualties on these corridors and making further improvements to road safety will remain a high priority for this strategy.

In addition, it is important that people feel secure when using the transport network, whatever mode of travel they are using. The design of public transport interchanges, the public realm and the vehicles themselves need to ensure that security issues are addressed at source so that people can use them with minimal risk to their safety.  This will include the design of the planned Coventry Very Light Rail system.

4.4 Supporting the city’s economic recovery and reducing levels of economic inequality

There are currently 161,000 people employed in Coventry.  The Council has ambitious plans to increase this further and, as noted in section 2, there is potential for investment in green businesses, including zero emission transport, to help support the city’s economy to recover from Covid-19.

Current plans to create new jobs in the city include:

  • delivering a major regeneration of the South side of the city centre.  This will include improved leisure and retail facilities, as well as new homes
  • creating a new business district at Friargate, where one new office building has already been constructed and work is currently underway on a second office building and a new boutique hotel
  • a further expansion of Ansty Park
  • plans to establish a Gigafactory in the South of the city.  This would complement the recently established UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, making the city a centre for both research and development and manufacturing relating to battery technology for zero emission vehicles
  • working with several major employers to facilitate their plans to expand, this includes Coventry University, the University of Warwick and Jaguar Land Rover.

While creating new jobs and supporting the city’s recovery from Covid-19, these developments will also create additional travel demand, which will need to be met in a sustainable and equitable way.  It is also vital that the benefits of these developments are inclusive and that residents in all parts of the city share in them. 

At present there are substantial inequalities between different parts of the city.  While some areas are affluent, there are also significant concentrations of deprivation. For example, according to the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation, in 2019 there were 28 (out of 195) neighbourhoods in Coventry in the 10 per cent most deprived in the country.  This rises to 50 amongst the most deprived 20 per cent.

It is therefore essential that, as well as providing the necessary infrastructure to help create new jobs, we also improve transport links to and from the most deprived parts of our city.  Enabling a more general shift towards public transport and walking and cycling will also help to address this, given that car ownership and car travel is expensive, and that these are more affordable and inclusive forms of transport.

4.5 Maximising the benefits of planned strategic transport improvements

It has now been confirmed that phases 1 (London – Birmingham) and 2a (Birmingham – North West of England) of HS2 will go ahead as planned, with the first phase currently due to complete between 2029 and 2033 and construction underway.  The route will pass close to the south side of Coventry, with the planned interchange in Solihull improving connectivity by rail between Coventry and northern England and Scotland.  The HS2 scheme is expected to bring substantial economic benefits to the West Midlands, including Coventry, through the creation of jobs during and after construction of the route, and regeneration projects associated with the HS2 route.

The planned interchange is also located close to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and forms part of ‘UK Central’.  This is expected to become both a major transport hub, with national and international connections, and a significant employment centre in its own right.  Connectivity between Coventry and UK Central is therefore a key consideration for this strategy.

HS2 is also significant because it is expected to alleviate some of the pressure on existing rail services.  This will enable other improvements to be brought forward. 

At the same time, the Government is also continuing to invest in the region’s Strategic Road Network through a series of planned improvements set out in National Highways’ Road Investment Strategy, including the improvement of the Binley and Walsgrave Junctions on the A46 Coventry Eastern Bypass. These will bring benefits for Coventry through reduced congestion on this key strategic route, improving accessibility to key employment sites at Ansty Park, Binley and Coventry Airport, as well as to the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. 

National Highways are currently preparing for the third Roads Investment Strategy covering the five-year period beyond 2027, and further improvements to the A46, focussing on Stivichall Interchange and M6 Junction 2 have been identified in studies undertaken by Midlands Connect as potential future projects for consideration.  M6 Junction 3 is also the subject of work jointly commissioned by National Highways, Warwickshire County Council and the City Council to identify potential improvements.

4.6 Meeting travel demand arising from new homes

As noted in section 2, Coventry is a rapidly growing city, with plans to build 25,000 new homes to be built over the period 2011 – 2031.  This figure was based on an Objectively Assessed Need of 42,400 new homes, with Warwickshire authorities providing those that cannot be delivered within the city.  Since the adoption of the current Local Plan, the Government has introduced a new way of calculating housing need (the Standard Methodology), which delivers a similar estimate for the number of new homes required.  Current plans include several large-scale developments, most notably Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs) in Keresley (allocated for 3,100 new homes) and Eastern Green (allocated for 2,250). 

Travel demand will also be generated by planned development in neighbouring areas.  For example, a further planned SUE in Kings Hill (initially 2,500 homes) lies within Warwickshire but is located right upon the boundary with Coventry and will therefore also have a significant impact on the city’s transport network.  Furthermore, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick District Councils are currently in the process of developing a new, joint South Warwickshire Local Plan.  This is expected to cover the period up to 2050 and will set out the areas in which further growth will be accommodated.

In many cases, planned developments are directly dependent on new transport infrastructure being delivered.  More generally, the increase in the city’s population, and that of neighbouring areas such as Warwickshire, will generate additional travel demand.  It is essential that this demand is met in a sustainable way, without exacerbating existing problems with congestion, air pollution and the city’s carbon footprint.

4.7 Adapting to changes in the way that people live, work and travel

It is possible that we may be on the cusp of a fundamental change to people’s travel habits.  For more than half a century, fossil fuel powered cars have been the dominant form of travel in the UK and, as noted in section 3, these remain by far the most common form of transport in Coventry today.

However, new technology means that this may be beginning to change.  Electric vehicles are already becoming a ‘mainstream’ technology and accounted for 15 per cent of all new cars sold in 2021.  This is highly likely to rise much further in the near future, but this may only be one part of a much more fundamental change to the way that people and goods travel. 

Other emerging technologies, which could have a major impact include:

  • Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR), a new form of urban mass transit, similar to existing tram systems but suitable for smaller cities such as Coventry, which is why the City Council has invested significantly in the development of this new innovative technology
  • driverless cars, or Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), which can be tested in real-life conditions within Coventry utilising the CAV Testbed being installed in partnership with TfWM
  • the use of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles, or drones, for deliveries and/or to transport passengers
  • micromobility.  This describes small, lightweight forms of transport like e-scooters, currently being piloted within the southern area of the city
  • Mobility as a Service (Maas).  This describes a change in the way that people travel, away from privately owned vehicles and towards a system where a variety of different travel options can be easily accessed on demand.  In practice this would most likely see residents using a single integrated platform (such as a mobile phone app) to plan, book and pay for journeys across a range of different modes
  • Demand Responsive Transit (DRT) services, like the WM On Demand service currently being piloted in Coventry. 

The precise impact of these emerging forms of transport is difficult to predict but it is highly likely that we will witness some dramatic changes in the ways in which people and goods travel over the next 15 or so years.

As described in section 2, Covid-19 has also brought about substantial changes to the way that people travel.  However, its longer-term implications are difficult to predict.  The trends that we have observed over the last few years may continue into the future.  Alternatively, most people may eventually revert to their previous travel habits, or there may be further changes which cannot yet be anticipated.

In response to this, we will seek to actively shape the future wherever possible, for example by proactively seeking to trial and to roll out new modes of transport.  More generally, we will also remain flexible and adapt our strategy to any changes in residents’ travel habits, as these become clearer.  When considering the benefits of individual schemes, we will also use sensitivity testing to understand how the scheme would perform in different future scenarios.

Transport Strategy

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

Monitoring and evaluation

An Annual Progress Report will be prepared to report on our progress in delivering our objectives.  This will integrate with monitoring requirements at a regional level and will be submitted annually to the Council’s Cabinet.

6.1 Measures of success

The table below provides a set of indicators that we will monitor for each of our objectives.  These are a mixture of indicators that:

  • directly relate to the way that people and goods travel. For example, over time we expect to see increasing numbers of people walking, cycling and taking public transport and fewer people driving
  • indicators that are influenced by many things, including transport. For example, we expect improvements to the city’s transport system to lead to longer life expectancies and better employment rates among residents. However, there will be many other factors that will also affect these indicators.

We will report our progress against the following indicators on a regular basis.

Set of indicators which we will monitor for each of our objectives



1. Supporting the city’s economic recovery and enabling long-term growth

  • Gross Value Added (GVA) and/or GVA per employee
  • Total number of jobs and/or new jobs created
  • Number of residents in employment
  • New commercial floorspace created
  • Number of new homes enabled
  • City Centre footfall and/or other indicators of visitor numbers/activity, such as car and bike parking and numbers of arrivals by public transport

2. Delivering a sustainable, low carbon transport system

  • Total estimated annual CO2 emissions
  • Estimated annual CO2 emissions from transport
  • Overall levels of car ownership
  • Levels of ownership of zero emission vehicles
  • Usage of EV charging point infrastructure
  • Take up of car clubs/car sharing services
  • Mode of travel split between car, cycle, walk and various forms of public transport

3. Ensuring equality of opportunity

  • Levels of walking, cycling and public transport (i.e. the most affordable travel options)
  • Number of neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10 & 20 per cent nationally
  • Levels of unemployment

4. Maximising health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities

  • Average life expectancy and healthy life expectancy
  • The gap in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between the most and least deprived parts of the city
  • Levels of walking and cycling
  • Resident perceptions of Coventry as a place where it is easy to walk and cycle
  • Air quality
  • The number of road traffic incidents overall, the number of serious incidents and the number of fatal incidents
  • Average vehicle speeds
  • National Road Condition Indicators for highways and footways

Transport Strategy