Coventry trials car recycling reward scheme

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has set up a pilot initiative in Coventry whereby motorists can exchange their old cars for £3,000 of ‘alternative travel arrangements’.

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, with a crushed Citroen at the Mainline Salvage car recycling centre in Wolverhampton

After handing over their cars to be crushed for scrap, owners are given £3,000 of mobility credits to cover the cost of alternative transport including buses, trains, taxis and car hire for the next two years.

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, at the Mainline Salvage car recycling centre in Wolverhampton with a crushed Citroen

TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands combined authority (WMCA), hopes the incentive will persuade motorists to use more environmentally friendly transport, helping to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

The offer is targeted at those who are looking to change the way they commute and want to reduce the costs of running and maintaining an older car.

TfWM teamed up with Coventry city council to work on the scheme. The trial is funded by the £22 million Future Mobility Zone grant, given to the region by the Department for Transport.

The scheme is currently open to people in Coventry who own a car which is more than ten years old.

Public transport

Six motorists have already taken up the offer, including mechanical engineer Mohammed Fasiuddin, who traded in his grey 2006 Citreon C1. He said: “I was a little sad to see the car go, but I haven’t been using it as much as I used to before Covid. I’m working from home more now, so the offer came at the right time for me to get rid of it.

(L-r) Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, and Mohammed Fasiuddin see off the grey Citroen

“It is a good deal with £3,000 to use for public transport, or a taxi or uber or a hire car – I have a bus stop two minutes away which is very convenient. And I no longer need to worry about the car breaking down or failing the MOT and a huge repair bill at the garage.”

Mr Fassiudin’s car was collected by recycling firm Car Take Back and taken to the Mainline Salvage car recycling facility in Wolverhampton for crushing. Ninety-five per cent of the car will be recycled.

Climate emergency

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is facing a climate emergency, and tackling that means reducing air pollution and finding ways to encourage people to cut out unnecessary private car journeys in favour of public transport or active travel such as cycling and walking.

“Our innovative mobility credits scheme helps do exactly that, and I would like to thank the volunteers like Mohammed and his family who are making this bold step to change their travel habits and setting an example for others as to how everyone can do their bit to help the West Midlands reach its #WM2041 target of carbon neutrality by 2041.”

Mohammed Fasiuddin explains why he has given up his car for the TfWM mobility credits scheme and Mayor Andy Street watches the car get scrapped

London

A similar scheme was launched by the Mayor of London in 2019.  The ULEZ Car and Motorcycle scrappage scheme is open to those who live within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London and receive certain means-tested and non means-tested disability benefits. Those who qualify can apply for a grant to scrap vehicles that do not meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) emissions standards. Drivers can claim £2,000 to scrap a car or £1,000 to scrap a motorcycle.

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