WOULD you swap your old car for a brand new bicycle?
That’s what Transport for West Midlands, part of the region’s combined authority, is trialling in Coventry.
It’s teamed up with cycle shops in the city to offer those taking part in the pioneering mobility credits scheme the chance to buy new bikes.
Under the scheme, launched last year, residents have been able to trade their older, high-polluting petrol or diesel car for £3,000 worth of ‘mobility credits’, which can be spent on more environmentally friendly travel including public transport, taxis, car hire or bike hire.
Now, following a tie-in with Coventry branches of Halfords and Cycle King and Hawk Cycles, people can use up to half of their credits on up to two new bikes or eBikes, plus cycle accessories.
So far, 79 people have handed over their old cars and anyone wishing to join has until the end of March to apply.
Mobility credits is a West Midlands Future Transport Zone project designed to get older cars off the road and to encourage owners to change their travel behaviour – to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “If we are to succeed in weaning ourselves off our reliance on the car and adjust to more active and healthy forms of travel, we have to be willing to try new ideas.
“That’s why I’m so encouraged by our mobility credits trial scheme, which we are now widening to include the purchase of bikes.
“Overall the scheme has helped us to better understand what works well and what maybe does not when it comes to encouraging people to use more sustainable transport.”
Adam Tranter, the former Coventry Cycling Mayor and now cycling and walking commissioner for the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “We’ll scrap your old polluting car, you can get a quality bike you can keep, and still have some credits left over for other journeys by public transport or car club when you need to.”