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Source: City of Coventry

Published Friday, 01 May 2020

Coventry residents have been giving their views on a range of schemes which will enable reductions in NO2 levels in Coventry without the need to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ D).

More than 150 individuals and groups have already fed back on proposals – and now because of COVID-19 restrictions the Council has decided to extend the consultation by a further five weeks to enable people to respond.

The consultation was due to end on 26 April, but will now run through to 31 May. To take part in the consultation by visiting our Let’s Talk website.

A CAZ D would have affected all vehicles that do not meet certain air pollution standards. For the scheme to work some cars and other types of vehicle would have faced a charge to drive into a large part of the city. The Council always felt there was a better way of achieving the air quality objectives, and last year put forward its preferred package of measures.

In February, the Government wrote to the Council in support of Coventry’s proposals which set out to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions, benefiting residents through cleaner air and better health.

A legal direction from the Government means that Coventry will need to submit a final full business case. The submission date was 19 June but is now likely to be later in the year to reflect the lengthened consultation period.

The consultation identifies a combination of measures in the area around Holyhead Road, through Spon End from Hearsall Lane to Junction 7 of the Ring Road, and on Foleshill Road. All of these are being planned to avoid the introduction of a CAZ.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration said: “We had planned public drop-in sessions to explain more about the plans but because of COVID-19 restrictions we cancelled these.

“We had already spoken to dozens of people when we discussed proposals in December 2018.

”When we did, residents and businesses were generally opposed to the idea of a charging CAZ D and in favour of various highways and other measures to address NOemissions.

“That’s why these measures are now being developed in more detail.

“There are already a variety of other projects happening across the city to improve air pollution.”   

He added: “Local people and businesses rejected a CAZ D so the challenge now is to achieve NO2 reductions through a combination of behaviour change, cleaner vehicles and targeted junction and road layout improvements in areas where NO2 levels are above the legal limit.”

“We want to explain more about these schemes and it was important that due to the current social restrictions we give people more time to respond.”

The COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting social distancing, travel restrictions and self-isolation measures has meant evidence of less traffic and NO2 pollution but the figures are likely to rise once lock-down measures begin to ease.

The package of measures include:

  • Capacity improvements on the B4106 through Spon End and Junction 7 of the Ring Road, including improved routes for pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Opening Upper Hill Street onto the Ring Road, giving left in/left out access to the Ring Road via the anti-clockwise on-slip road at Junction 8
  • Closure of Barras Lane between the A4114 Holyhead Road and Coundon Road/Upper Hill Street allowing the removal of the signals at the Barras Lane / Holyhead Road junction;
  • Reducing the number of polluting vehicles by introducing restrictions on the eastern section of the A4114 Holyhead Road on the approach to Junction 8;
  • Construction of a segregated cycle route linking Coundon with the city centre along Coundon Road and Upper Hill Street;
  • Engagement initiative (travel planning) for schools, businesses and communities along Holyhead Road Corridor;
  • Banning the right turn from Cash’s Lane onto Foleshill Road
  • HGV ban on part of Foleshill Road;
  • Assigning electric buses to Foleshill Road.

Coventry has been awarded grant funding of £24.5m to implement the schemes.

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