Coventry is a city in central England. It’s known for the medieval Coventry Cathedral, which was left in ruins after a WWII bombing. It is the UK City of Culture 2021.
Coventry has a population of 366,800. It has 139,520 dwellings and an average city-wide age of 32. 67.8% residents have access to a car, below national average rate of 74.2%. There are almost 60,000 University Students in Coventry area.
Coventry had a strong association with the bicycle thanks to pioneers such as John Kemp Starley who invented the modern safety bicycle design in the city. Over a 100-year period there were more than 450 bicycle makers in Coventry but things then moved onto car manufacture and that industry still has a presence in the city today. These companies are important to the political landscape and local economy but there is currently no voice for cycling; we need to change that.
Coventry has significant challenges relating to transport; Coventry is the fastest growing city, in terms of congestion, according to TomTom Traffic Index. 98% of monitored roads in Coventry have PM2.5 emissions above the World Health Organisation’s guidelines. It is estimated that in 2017, 156 deaths in Coventry were related to PM2.5, amounting to about 1 in every 18 deaths.
In addition, 29.5% of adults in Coventry are physically inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week). This makes Coventry the fifth least active area in the West Midlands and in the Top 20 of least active areas in England.
Coventry City Centre from One Friargate in 2019 (WikiMedia)
Coventry has a rich history in bicycle building, including J.K. Starley's pioneering safety bicycle
“There are few people who understand the importance of getting more people active than Adam. There are even fewer who have the practical experience and knowhow to bottle all that is great about cycling and take it to new cyclists. I look forward to seeing what Adam can achieve, getting more children cycling and continuing to raise awareness of the many benefits.”
“Adam is a ‘Covkid’ as we would say here. So he’s grown up here, still has family here and is uniquely placed to understand the frustrations of cycling infrastructure in Coventry and best represent a whole range of issues from cycling use, environmental and health benefits and modernising city transport strategies.”