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Motorists to be paid £3,000 to give up cars

The scheme will target the most polluting vehicles

Motorists could receive up to £3,000 to give up their cars in an effort to improve air quality in built-up areas. 

The Times report that drivers of the 'most polluting' vehicles will get taxpayer money if they ditch their cars in favour of 'credits' that can then be spent on more eco-friendly and congestion easing forms of transport such as bicycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, taxis and buses and trains.  

A trial scheme will be launched in Coventry in the spring and will focus specifically on diesel cars built before 2016 and petrol models built before 2006.

The two-year-long programme will be studied to evaluate the amount of money needed to achieve permanent change to people's travel habits. 

The Time say the scheme is designed to reduce car dependency in cities, leading to lower levels of congestion and air pollution. 

A similar programme could also take place in the south of England.

Hampshire county council says it is considering a 'mobility credit scheme' for residents who agree to no longer own a car.

It raised the possibility as part of a public consultation into the county’s local transport plan.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that vehicles collectively covered 356.5 billion miles on British roads in 2019, an increase of almost 11 per cent in five years and 36 per cent since the mid-90s.

Xavier Brice, chief executive of cycling charity Sustrans, said: “It is great to see local authorities considering new ways to reduce car dependency, including mobility credit.

"Better, more affordable, public transport is critical to combating air pollution and climate change.”

However, Edmund King, president of the AA, said that the timing of the initiative was 'bizarre'.

He added: “The money would probably be better spent on providing electric charging points for those without off-street parking rather than giving mobility credits for services that people will use when they need to or feel safe to."

The Coventry scheme — the first of its kind in Britain – is being run by the city council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. 

Between £1,500 and £3,000 will be given to motorists in return for having their car towed away for the duration of the trial.

The money will be uploaded to a payment card, with spending reserved for public transport, taxis, hire cars and other forms of transport, including bike hire and e-scooters.

The scheme is being paid for as part of the £22 million 'future transport' initiative funded by the government.

It is hoped that taxpayer cash will eventually be replaced by long-term funding from private companies.

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31 comments

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Hirsute | 3 years ago
0 likes
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Nick T | 3 years ago
0 likes

How about, instead of rewarding at drivers, put that money into actual infrastructure, perhaps raise fuel duties for once and out that in the pot as well. Then maybe folks will just like, choose to use the most convenient transport without having the bribe them into it

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grumpyoldcyclist | 3 years ago
3 likes

Okay when it comes to my area, go out buy a banger for £300 then claim £1500.

I'm sure the government would have checks in place to stop that, like length of ownership...................

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grOg replied to grumpyoldcyclist | 3 years ago
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These sort of schemes always bump up the price of used vehicles.. if you were trying to offload a junker you had sitting in your yard for a few quid, you would now want a lot more.

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Dnnnnnn | 3 years ago
4 likes

I hope there's more to it than reported here but it looks like a good incentive to go out and buy an old banger!

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Captain Badger replied to Dnnnnnn | 3 years ago
1 like
Duncann wrote:

I hope there's more to it than reported here but it looks like a good incentive to go out and buy an old banger!

It might be, however the outcome will be the same. Whoever scraps the vehicle will get the bounty, but in any case the vehicle is scrapped and out of circulation.

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zeeridesbikes | 3 years ago
2 likes

Made the mistake of reading he comments on the DM for this article. Doesn't sound like folk are too keen take this up. Not the target audience I guess. 

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Captain Badger replied to zeeridesbikes | 3 years ago
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zeeridesbikes wrote:

Made the mistake of reading he comments on the DM for this article. Doesn't sound like folk are too keen take this up. Not the target audience I guess. 

LOL you'd think that they're being forced to give up their Smokey Joes.

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zeeridesbikes replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
0 likes

It's probably equally as addictive. 

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Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
2 likes

"Between £1,500 and £3,000 will be given to motorists in return for having their car towed away for the duration of the trial."

And then if they decide it's not for them they get their motor back and keep the bike/cash? Not sure this is the optimal use of funds, at first glance looks wide open to being gamed in a number of ways...

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fwhite181 | 3 years ago
4 likes

So if I buy a WankPanzer (TM) sorry...Range Rover, can I get £3k to spend on bikes?

 

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eburtthebike replied to fwhite181 | 3 years ago
0 likes
fwhite181 wrote:

So if I buy a WankPanzer (TM) sorry...Range Rover, can I get £3k to spend on bikes?

Good idea, how much is a Wan****, sorry, Range Rover?

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Brauchsel replied to fwhite181 | 3 years ago
5 likes

More to the point, if I spend £300 on some rusting shitbucket can I have £1500+ to spend on bikes?

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Seventyone | 3 years ago
3 likes

How are taxis more environmentally friendly? Genuine question, maybe they are

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Hirsute replied to Seventyone | 3 years ago
1 like

Fewer cars on the road -> less congestion and hence less pollution

Driven at operating temperature nearly 100% , so less pollution

Could be hybrid/ full electric too.

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ktache replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like

Sort of, most cars spend more time parked, sometimes off street.  Taxis often drive around looking for business, or park on street waiting to be contacted.

The Black Cab drivers that wait in the taxi ranks at Reading station, where the council have placed no engine idleing signs on posts, mostly have their dirty deisel engines on, in all seasons.

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Dnnnnnn replied to Seventyone | 3 years ago
0 likes

People would drive their own cars for trips they wouldn't call a taxi for, so there may be benefit in fewer car-borne trips overall.

The taxi option may also be useful in persuading people to take up the scheme - even if they don't actually use them very much.

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brooksby | 3 years ago
1 like

Based on some of the stories I've read, King may have a point about the infrastructure to charge up all these electric vehicles needing to be improved. Admittedly its not something iv been looking for, but I've only ever noticed charging points in multi storey car parks. Do people have to daisy chain extension cords out of their kitchen window or something? (actually, genuine question there)

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StuInNorway replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
1 like

I've seen someone daisy chain 3 extension leads at their summer cottage here in Norway to do overnight charging of their Nissan Leaf. Most however simply use the plentiful rapid chargers when away. Many don't have facilities to charge at home, so either use the rapid chargers, or some can charge at work. 
Daisychaining leads is not only dangerous however, the losses in the cable means it becomes more expensive to charge.
 

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
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Not a good idea. Only gives a slow charge.

They would be better off trying to get a grant for a proper high speed charger installed outside.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
2 likes

Could you imagine when 2030 comes, and only electric cars are sold? How dangerous will shared paths be alongside residential streets, particularly rows of terraced houses? There will be electric charging cables across the shared paths from the house to the car parked on the street. 

I know we need to address the air quality, but the infrastructure needs to be in place before 2030. And I cannot see how virtually all houses can have a charging point installed. And that is before we get to the point of where all the electricity will be generated.

My boss has a couple of electric cars. He was charging the Tesla and closed his double garage at the rear. The electric wall heaters came on once the door shut, and after a few minutes of them blasting heat out, the electric tripped, the Tesla was pulling so much power, the rest of the electrics couldn't cope with the surge from the heaters. His dad has had the same issue with his electric cars, and has had to have three phase installed. 

The electric car revolution does sound wonderful, but has a long, long way to go. And I feel it is being rushed through.

Anyone remember the electric strikes of the 70s? Get your candles ready for when the grid starts to trip out.

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Hirsute replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 3 years ago
3 likes

Why would you have wall heaters in a garage?

I thought some research had gone on about charging and the grid. Didn't think it was a doomsday scenario.

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Rich_cb replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 3 years ago
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Why would all houses need a charging point?

Most cars will need to be charged less than once a week so if 1/7 spaces had access to a charger that would be sufficient.

Repurposing street lamps as charging stations would pretty much get you to that point without any other changes needed.

That's assuming no great advances in vehicle range or modal shift over the next decade and no access to charging anywhere else other than your house.

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wycombewheeler replied to Rich_cb | 3 years ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Why would all houses need a charging point? Most cars will need to be charged less than once a week so if 1/7 spaces had access to a charger that would be sufficient. Repurposing street lamps as charging stations would pretty much get you to that point without any other changes needed. That's assuming no great advances in vehicle range or modal shift over the next decade and no access to charging anywhere else other than your house.

Assuming that other drivers are considerate enough not park in front of lamposts when they don't need to charge their cars.

A level of consderation beyond most, who will pull up across a side road when in queueing traffic because it is too uncomfortable to leave a 3.5m gap, thus preventing oncoming cars turing right and creating congestion. I have found that drivers are more likely to let someone pull out in front of them which puts them further back in the queue than allow other drivers to turn across them which makes zero difference to their journey.

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Rich_cb replied to wycombewheeler | 3 years ago
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I believe that current technology allows cars to be charged a parking fee once they are fully charged, billed via the same mechanism as the charging.

Make that fee high enough and you've either solved the problem or provided the funds to increase the number of charging points.

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TheBillder replied to Rich_cb | 3 years ago
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Lamp post supplies are designed only to supply enough current for old sodium discharge lamps, and it's not all that much. Even if all lamps were replaced by LEDs and the spare capacity used for charging, it would be slow as anything.

My local council will not allow a charging cable over the pavement, so I'm going to ask if there's any other solution, eg cutting a channel in the pavement and running a cable through a conduit. On pre-covid usage I could be fully electric for most journeys even with a plug-in hybrid.

Almost no point in asking when public charging points are likely within walking distance of my house because their sole achievement in this field so far is to produce a document (in 2017) with an aspiration to specify a toolkit which will facilitate (given appropriate funding) progress towards a framework for transformative action.

However, the perfect is the enemy of the good. If we started by getting charging points in workplace car parks then perhaps we could get more of the high mileage polluters onto EVs before small fry (3,000 miles a year, less than I cycle) like me.

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Rich_cb replied to TheBillder | 3 years ago
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At 3000 miles a year it's probably not the best option to change to electric right now anyway, you'd be better off with a second hand ICE car from a CO2/PM perspective.

You'd obviously need to upgrade the electrical supply to the lampposts to make them viable chargers but they are already in the right locations and already have electrical connections so I think they're the perfect candidate, do it well and they could even provide a small income for the council thus covering their own costs.

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OldRidgeback replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
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We have on-street charging from lamp posts in my area. But these are slow chargers. Several of my neighbours have EVs or plug-in hybrids now and while some use the chargers provided, others trail cables across the pavement between the vehicle and their home. This doesn't strike me as being very safe, considering there are old and infirm in the area too. 

I did note yesterday that a BP filling station not far away on the S Circular is being upgraded with high speed charging points. It's the only one in the area that sells LPG and I know a few people who use that (low emission fuel) so I hope that is retained.

But the UK will need more generating capacity to switch to EVs. We need more offshore windpower facilities. It also seems like we'll end up with more nuclear plants too.

I don't drive much but do have a car (bit of a banger now). I've been thinking that my next car could well be an EV and most likely, a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoe. But as my car is parked on the street, charging will be an issue. Oddly enough, replacing my petrol motorbike with an electric one would be simpler. 

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jasecd | 3 years ago
13 likes

How about just build more cycle lanes and enable active travel? This will benefit everyone, not just those who can afford to own a car. The more infrastructure there is, the more people will use it.

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eburtthebike replied to jasecd | 3 years ago
2 likes
jasecd wrote:

How about just build more cycle lanes and enable active travel? This will benefit everyone, not just those who can afford to own a car. The more infrastructure there is, the more people will use it.

I'm sure a government spokesperson will be along shortly to claim that they are doing both.  However, not to be too carping, this is a step in the right direction.

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