Home » Coventry secures funding for autonomous light rail scheme

Coventry secures funding for autonomous light rail scheme

by Maryam Bint-Kazam

Coventry City Council has secured £115.9m in grant funding to help decarbonise and improve the city’s transport system.

The majority of the funding was secured following a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS).

A large chunk of the funding, says the council, will go to the development of the Coventry Very Light Rail project, which hopes to put in mass transit system at a much lower installation cost than conventional tram systems.

The track is laid just 300mm within the road’s surface, minimising the need to relocate utility pipes and cables. The vehicle has been developed to be autonomous, allowing it to operate at a high frequency.

It is battery-powered, eliminating the need for overhead wires. It has an innovative turning system allowing it to handle 15-metre radius curves, meaning it can be installed in tight corners in the existing highway. The vehicle will have low floors to enable passengers to embark and disembark easily.

The scheme will offer residents and visitors an affordable and reliable light rail system in the city centre, says the council.

By investing in this infrastructure, the council aims to promote sustainable transport in the city and encourage residents to use alternatives to the private car.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said: “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. 

“Along with the all-electric bus fleet, fully segregated cycle routes and more on street charge points than anywhere else outside London our ambition is to enable local people to be able to make real choices about how they travel sustainably.”

The funding will be discussed at the meeting of Cabinet on the 30 August then will go to Full Council on the 6 September.

Image credit: Coventry City Council

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