Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Portsmouth City Council has continuous monitoring stations in four locations across Portsmouth and if the recommendations are approved this would see the addition of a new continuous monitoring station, as well as the continued deployment of further diffusion tubes.

If approved by the decision meeting an additional continuous monitoring station will provide evidence of NO2 levels in a key location to the west-end of Alfred Road alongside St John's Catholic Cathedral.

The government issued a Ministerial Direction that requires an improvement in Portsmouth's air quality to within required levels in the shortest time possible. The proposed Clean Air Zone is one activity that will contribute to reducing vehicle pollution.

The data from the monitoring stations is published each year in the Air Quality Annual Summary Report and is used to inform the development of the city. In the future this information will be used to identify when the levels of NO2 have reduced to within the limits recommended by government.

The council is awaiting a decision by government on the initial proposals to implement a zone to the south west of the city that charges non-compliant buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles, private hire vehicles and taxis. The next step with the clean air zone will be to engage with people in Portsmouth and the wider region about how the zone would operate, how we could help those that will be most negatively impacted by the zone and the wider issue of how we encourage more people to travel sustainably.

The diffusion tubes are low-cost monitoring devices that are deployed throughout the city and by potentially increasing these the council will grow their understanding of air pollution in Portsmouth. This information will help inform the transformation of the city into a cleaner city for healthier lives.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said "I am interested to read and discuss the recommendations, as understanding the levels of air pollution within the city is important in making future decisions so that we can go further than just maintaining compliance with government levels."

The proposal will be put forward at the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change decision meeting on Thursday 30 January 2020.