Coventry motorists could be paid up to £3,000 to ditch their car

Motorists could be paid up to £3,000 a year to give up their cars and switch to bike or public transportation.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is working up the detail of a £1 million Mobility Credits scheme ahead of a trial in Coventry next year.

Volunteers are needed to help design the new scheme under which motorists would be paid up to £3,000 a year to give up their cars.

Motorists taking part will be asked to scrap their cars and in return be given between £1,500 and £3,000 worth of mobility credits to spend, using a smartphone app or Swift travel card, on public transport, taxis, bike share or a car club.

TfWM is working with Coventry City Council on the trial and is looking for car users to take part in a workshop on Wednesday, 26 February to look at the proposals and help shape them.

The project, the first of its kind in the UK, is designed to get polluting cars off the road, ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “Instead of asking people to trade in their old car for a new one, we are offering them credits to try something new – such as join a car share scheme or take the bus or train.

“Not only will people be saving money on the cost of running and maintaining their cars, but they will also help the region ease traffic congestion and improve air quality in the fight against climate change. This will make a considerable difference to Coventry as the city welcomes thousands of visitors next year for City of Culture.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “This is a great idea which provides incentives to motorists. The key now is to work up the scheme in a way that benefits people who may be dependent on using a vehicle as part of their daily responsibilities. It’s about encouraging change without imposing it.”

The trial is being funded from the £22 million Future Mobility Zone grant given to the region by the Department for Transport to develop and test new transport technology and schemes.

Later in the year, TfWM will invite people, who are willing to give up their cars, to apply for the two-year pilot project.

The credits will be provided on a smartphone app through which participants will also be able to plan and book their journeys.

To volunteer for the workshop, please fill in the survey here http://snapsurveys.wmca.org.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=158169217653.