Air pollution is getting worse in Portsmouth and we all need to make changes to create cleaner air for our health and wellbeing. In response to this problem, an increasing number of UK cities are facing the prospect of Government imposing a charging Clean Air Zone, including Portsmouth.
We have been issued with a new directive from the government to improve air quality in the shortest time possible. As a result, we are currently at the stage of gathering evidence.
We are following the process set out by the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) at Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This includes transport and air quality modelling to show which measures would be effective. This must include modelling a charging Clean Air Zone as a benchmark.
This survey, designed using the guidance from JAQU, will support the information we put together. The results help us understand the impact on drivers with older vehicles that would have to pay ito enter and drive in a clean air zone. Older vehicles (non-compaint) that would be charged are those registered before 2006 or diesel vehicle registered before 2015 .The survey will also provide evidence of how vehicle owners will respond to different levels of daily charge (up to £20 per day for the majority of vehicles and up to £100 for HGVs).
We are aware that there are many low income households in the city and a Clean Air Zone charge would have a huge impact on their lives. The survey helps us understand these issues of affordability. This is why we are asking respondents to let us know if they'd be interested in measures such as incentives to get rid of high-polluting vehicles. We have also asked respondents to let us know if they have any ideas about how we can support them if a charge was imposed on the city.
All the evidence we gather 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.
You can take the survey online.
Implementing and maintaining a clean air zone
A huge network of cameras across the city would be required if a clean air zone was imposed. This would gather information on vehicle movement around the city. Any income would be used to operate the scheme and cover maintenance. If any money remained, it would be invested in sustainable transport.
Survey for businesses
We understand that if a charging clean air zone was imposed on the city this will have an impact on our local businesses. We have published a business survey to gather information from businesses that would be impacted by having a non-compliant HGV or LGV fleet.