Motorists to be paid £3,000 a year to give up cars

Two-year trial scheme in Coventry, in which drivers will give up polluting cars in exchange for public transport credits, will go ahead

Some drivers are to be paid up to £3,000 a year to give up their cars as part of a pilot scheme to calculate the cost of reducing dependency on polluting vehicles.

A two-year trial in Coventry – approved by the city council in 2019 – will see owners of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars surrender their vehicles in exchange for credits that can be used to pay for public transport, bicycles, e-scooters, car-sharing schemes and taxis.

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The aim of the pilot scheme, first reported in the Times, is to find out how much funding would be needed to get drivers to swap their older cars for cleaner forms of transport in the long term.

Hampshire County Council is also considering a similar “Mobility Credit Scheme” to get drivers out of their cars, as part of the county’s local transport plan.

The scheme in Coventry hasn’t been universally welcomed, however. AA president Edmund King questioned why a city with such strong links to the motor industry would want to stop people driving, particularly with many UK car makers going electric in the near future.

“Coventry was right at the heart of the historic revolution of the British motor industry and known to many as the UK’s motor city or ‘British Detroit’,” he said. “How ironic that a local authority in Coventry is now trying to pay people to ditch their wheels.

“The timing of this initiative seems bizarre when many are avoiding public transport due to Covid-19 and leading brands such as Jaguar, with close links to Coventry, are going all-electric by 2025.

“The money would probably be better spent on providing electric charging points for those without off-street parking rather than giving mobility credits for services that people will use when they need to or feel safe to.”

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