Volunteers will help to help design a new scheme under which motorists would be paid up to £3,000 a year to give up their cars. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is working up the detail of the £1 million Mobility Credits scheme ahead of a trial in Coventry next year.
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.
Later in the year TfWM will invite people, who are willing to give up their cars, to apply for the two year pilot project.
TfWM is working with Coventry City Council on the trial. 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.'
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for transport, said: 'We can’t go on as we are with gridlocked roads costing our economy and poor air quality impacting on our health and quality of life. So TfWM is investing billions in our tram, rail, cycling and bus networks to provide sustainable alternatives to the private motor car.
'But we are also looking at innovative schemes like mobility credits to play a part by offering people real incentives to give up their cars, helping us reduce congestion and keep the region moving.'
The trial is 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.
The credits will be provided on a smartphone app through which participants will also be able to plan and book their journeys.
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