Coventry’s very light railway is one step closer to becoming a reality after the city has been awarded £115m to fund its transport projects. The money will be utilised to further advance schemes that are seeking to increase cycling, walking and usage of public transport in an effort to decarbonise the city.
The majority of funding has come from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS). These act as consolidated transport settlements that have been agreed upon by central government and based on plans put forward by city regions. Additional funding also comes via the West Midlands Combined Authority Active Travel Fund and Sustrans' Paths for Everyone funding.
A large portion of this funding will be dedicated to the innovative very light rail system that will see the arrival of battery-operated, driverless vehicles that will shuttle visitors around the city and cultural attractions. This light rail scheme has been in the woodwork since 2018 and comes as part of a multi-million-pound agreement between the city council and the University of Warwick, which was developing a rail link for the city.
Sustainable transport has become a major focus for the city amid the goal for the UK to achieve carbon net-zero by 2050, so this infrastructure funding will significantly reduce the number of emissions produced by the city’s transport system.
Councillor Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said:
"We have to encourage people to choose alternatives to the private car for some journeys and to do that we have to make sure that walking, cycling and public transport are attractive and viable alternatives in our city.
"That's why I'm really pleased that we've been able to secure such a significant amount of funding to help us do this.
"This funding will help us to lead a number of projects that will play a major role in the green transformation of our city's transport network."
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