Motorists in Coventry are scrapping their old cars in exchange for £3,000 worth of mobility credits, as part of a new initiative to improve air quality.
To date, six residents have taken up the offer from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM). It is open to any Coventry resident who owns a car that is more than 10 years old.
In exchange for scrapping their car, owners are given £3,000 worth of mobility credits to cover the cost of alternative transport including buses, trains, taxis and car hire over two years.
It is believed the incentive will help persuade owners of heavily polluting cars to use more environmentally friendly transport, helping to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
With £1 million funding being provided through the region’s Future Transport Zone initiative, there is capacity to take 250 high-polluting vehicles off our streets over the next two years.
Andy Street (pictured), Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is facing a climate emergency, and tackling that means reducing air pollution and finding ways to encourage people to cut out unnecessary private car journeys in favour of public transport or active travel such as cycling and walking.
“Drivers will only leave their cars if suitable alternatives are available, and that’s why we are investing billions in public transport and active travel.”
One of the first residents to give up their car as part of the scheme was mechanical engineer Mohammed Fasiuddin, from Foleshill. His 2006 Citroen C1, which he used for his daily commute to his office 16 miles away in Hinckley, has now been crushed.
He said: “I was a little sad to see the car go, but I haven’t been using it as much as I used to before Covid. I’m working from home more now so the offer came at the right time for me to get rid of it.
“It is a good deal with £3,000 to use for public transport, or a taxi or uber or a hire car – I have a bus stop two minutes away which is very convenient. And I no longer need to worry about the car breaking down or failing the MOT and a huge repair bill at the garage.”
TfWM teamed up with Coventry City Council to work on the scheme and says it has, so far, attracted about twenty volunteers who are going through the process to ditch their cars in exchange for the pre-paid transport only debit-card.
Enterprise provides car club access
Enterprise Car Club has placed 10 cars across the city, including in the five wards where the trial is taking place.
Drivers taking part in the initiative will be able to use their credits to book one of these low-emission shared cars near to where they live or work, or to access Enterprise’s rental vehicles.
The car club vehicles are based in on-street bays in residential neighbourhoods – in George Elliot Road, Jubilee Crescent, Northumberland Road and Clay Lane Car Park – to ensure triallists can access a car whenever they need, 24/7.
More low-emission car club vehicles are located in the city centre at Westminster Road Car Park, Barrack Car Park, and Gosford Street Car Park. Two vehicles are located on campus at the University of Warwick.
During the trial, payment for Enterprise Car Club and rental vehicles will initially be via a Yordex card, pre-loaded with credits. Payments will be integrated into TfWM’s Swift payment card platform, as the pilot expands.
John Seddon, head of transport and innovation at Coventry City Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with Enterprise on integrating Enterprise Car Club and vehicle hire into our mobility credits initiative, which is a first for the UK.
"We believe that giving people easy access to low emission vehicles near to where they live, and work will help to promote integrated transport solutions in Coventry.”
Oz Choudhri, head of mobility solutions at Enterprise, added: “Coventry’s pioneering mobility credits initiative will provide important information about how to encourage people to use more sustainable shared, active and integrated travel.
"This is why we are so keen to support this trial, bringing lower-emission mobility to the heart of the community to reduce pollution and congestion.
“We saw usage increase the minute we moved the cars to the wards, demonstrating that people are open to the idea of driving a shared car. Integrating car club use into a city’s shared transport network and systems in this way makes it even more simple and relevant for everyday use.”
Mobility credit trialists can apply for the first year’s membership of Enterprise Car Club for free (usually £60), giving them access to ultra-low emission vehicles including