Adam Tranter, Bicycle Mayor for Coventry, said: “I welcome the announcement that Coventry now has an agreed plan with Government to clean up its toxic air and that improved cycling and pedestrian facilities form part of the proposal. We have a golden opportunity now to reshape our transport habits in Coventry, but it concerns me that Coventry City Council’s proposal focuses heavily on increasing road capacity and ‘optimising’ the existing motor traffic.
“Coventry is the fastest growing city in the UK in terms of congestion, according to the TomTom Traffic Index. In England in 2018, over 60% of journeys of 1–2 miles were made by motor vehicle, distances that can easily be covered by walking, cycling or public transport, if we provide the right infrastructure. We need to fundamentally change our relationship with the private motor vehicle and not simply replace diesel cars with electric ones.
“An e-traffic jam is still a traffic jam; electric vehicles will still clog up our compact city and make it harder for people to walk or cycle, whether that’s to work, to school or just to get about town. We also need to remember that electric vehicles are out of reach financially for many people.
“The Council’s original preferred option submitted to Defra included four high quality cycle routes, whereas the announcement details just one linking Coundon with the city centre. I hope that more cycle routes are built as part of the plans to change the way we travel with low emissions in Coventry. Cycling infrastructure is a strong investment that delivers £5.50 back for every £1 spent, according to the government’s own figures.”
About Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor
In February 2020, Coventry became the first UK city to get a Bicycle Mayor to help reach its cycling potential. Coventry’s new Bicycle Mayor, Adam Tranter, was born and raised in the city and helps coordinate between existing cyclists, the community, government, and nonprofits. Bicycle Mayors were pioneered in Amsterdam; they aren’t part of local government, but volunteers who are recommended by local cycling groups and city stakeholders.