Owners of polluting cars could soon swap them for ‘mobility credits’ as part of an innovative scheme to improve air quality in Coventry.

Our partner Coventry City Council is working with Transport for West Midlands on a trial of the first scheme of its kind in the country.

Cars that produce the most harmful emissions will be exchanged for credits that can be spent via a smartphone app on public transport, as well as new transport modes such as car clubs, bikeshare, or new bus services.

It is expected that swap values will be worth between £1,500 and £3,000 per qualifying vehicle.

The trial – likely to launch late this year - is part of the West Midlands Future Transport Zone, a £22m programme which aims to investigate how new technologies can be used to support people moving around the West Midlands in a more sustainable way - reducing congestion, improving air quality, tackling climate change and generally improving the health and wellbeing of the population.

The council is now looking for a small, trailblazing group to join the trial.

Vehicles that are eligible are those that produce the most Nitrogen Dioxide. This means diesel vehicles that are not Euro 6 compliant (most of these were manufactured before 2016), and petrol vehicles that are not Euro 4 compliant (most of these were manufactured before 2006).

The scheme will also be limited to specific areas of Coventry. Air quality concerns in the city are specific to certain areas, and the council wants to improve air quality in those places first.

It also wants to make sure that participants in the scheme have access to the best possible transport options.

Full information about eligibility will be available when the trial launches.

Although air quality in Coventry has improved a lot in recent decades, it still exceeds the National Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide levels at several locations.

Poor air quality has adverse effects on the health of people living and working in Coventry. Emissions from various forms of transport are a significant contributor to poor air quality in Coventry, and a Local Air Quality Action Plan has been approved by the Council's Cabinet.

The Plan sets out a range of measures being taken to improve air quality in Coventry, including road junction improvements, traffic management technology, electric taxi trial schemes, and engagement with communities to promote active and sustainable travel.

Changing from driving to using more sustainable transport, including walking and cycling, will also reduce carbon emissions from transport, helping tackle climate change, as well as reducing congestion.

To register your interest in the trial, and to read more about what Coventry City Council is doing to tackle air quality in the city, click here