Portsmouth City Council wants to hear the views of anyone that drives a vehicle that would have to pay to enter or drive around a Clean Air Zone, if one was imposed by Government on Portsea Island. Vehicles that could have to pay are petrol vehicles registered before 2006 or diesel vehicles registered before 2015. Newer vehicles would not need to pay in the zone as they are compliant with the emissions standards.
Earlier this year Portsmouth City Council announced we need to join the fight for cleaner air as early indications showed air pollution was getting worse. Like other cities across the UK, Central Government also requires an improvement in air quality in the shortest possible time and we are seeing an increasing number of other cities preparing for the possibility of a charging clean air zone.
We are considering all possible options that could improve air quality in the city and achieve Government's requirements. One option that Government requires us to consider is the introduction of a charging Clean Air Zone covering Portsea Island. The survey will inform the strategy that will be put to Government later this year. If a charging clean air zone is imposed we will launch a detailed consultation in the autumn.
The Clean Air Zone survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and is open until 5pm on Thursday 4 July 2019. Local business will also be contacted to gain their views so that the impact on business can also be considered.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said "We believe improving air quality is essential to people's health and wellbeing in Portsmouth, as well as ensuring the future success of our city. We also understand there will be a lot of people who think that a chargeable clean air zone will have an impact on their household budget and day to day lives.
"We will be putting forward a strategy to the government that improves our air quality and people's wellbeing through other non-charging activities. We would also recommend where possible for people to walk, cycle or take public transport instead of taking cars for shorter journeys. However, if a clean air zone is imposed on Portsmouth, because the government thinks this will be the best way to see improvements in air quality, this could come into operation as soon as 2021. So I'd urge everyone with non-compliant vehicles to take part in this initial survey so we can understand the impact that the different levels of charging could have on them."
Councillor Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation said " We all need to work together to address the serious problem of poor air quality in Portsmouth. If we don't change our habits, air quality will get worse and certain vehicles could be forced to pay a daily charge for driving in the city.
"Vehicles are the highest contributor to poor air quality in the city and just by turning off your vehicle when stationary for more than a minute can make a difference, or change the way you travel, take the bus, walk or cycle. Every small change we each make will cumulatively make a difference. I would encourage you to take a moment of your time and have your say in this survey."