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To help reduce air pollution, new traffic-monitoring cameras will soon be installed as part of the Clean Air Zone that will help improve air quality in the most polluted areas in Portsmouth.

From April, contractors working on behalf of Portsmouth City Council will begin installing cameras and supporting poles to prepare for the launch of Portsmouth’s new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) later this year. The cameras will use an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) to identify any ‘non-compliant’ vehicles that enter the zone. They’ll only be used for this purpose and will always point towards traffic in order to read number plates. They won’t be able to record through windows of private residences or businesses.

The cameras will be installed at 34 sites around the edge of the CAZ, with a further 5 inside it. They’ll be placed on existing lamp columns and traffic signal poles wherever possible, but some new poles will also be installed. Each site shouldn’t take longer than a day or two to complete and the council aims to have all the cameras in place by the end of September 2021.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said “It’s really important to make the air in Portsmouth safer to breathe for everyone. We’re doing a lot of work in the council to improve the air quality for everyone who lives, works and studies in Portsmouth, alongside the government imposed Clean Air Zone”

“We understand that residents will want to know why these new cameras are going up in their neighbourhood. I want to reassure everyone that they will only be used to check traffic and won’t invade people’s privacy.

“Although we believe that funding to improve air quality could be used in different ways, the government-mandated CAZ will be coming at the end of the year. Installing these cameras makes sure that we’re accurately recording details of the most-polluting vehicles, and by using existing street lamps and traffic poles, we’ll minimise the impact on everyone.”

Residents can find out more about the CAZ at portsmouth.gov.uk/cleanairzone. They can also email CAZHelpDesk@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call 023 9283 4593 for more information.