Date set for Clean Air Zone launch in Portsmouth despite reservations

Portsmouth City Council has announced that its cabinet has heard a recommendation that its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) starts charging non-compliant vehicles at the end of November.

In the Portsmouth CAZ, non-compliant vehicles are buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles which do not meet euro 6 standards if diesel, or below euro 4 standard if petrol. Vans and private cars will not be charged in Portsmouth, no matter how old the vehicle is, but they could be charged in other clean air zones in the UK.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environment, said: “We’ve been working hard to make sure that anyone that may be charged as part of the CAZ has been informed and supported, and in many cases, we’ve been able to offer support for owners to upgrade their non-compliant vehicles. We’ve also made sure that systems are all in place ahead of launch so that it goes as smoothly as possible.

“Although a Clean Air Zone is not our preferred option for improving air quality in Portsmouth, we are required by central government to launch the zone and I will make sure all the details we need to implement the CAZ are in place when we review the recommended launch date.”

Portsmouth City Council was issued with a ministerial directive in March 2020 to introduce a Class B charging Clean Air Zone in the south west of the city.

The CAZ is intended to reduce levels of harmful air pollution in the city by encouraging fewer vehicle trips and allowing people to replace their older, non-compliant vehicles with models that produce fewer emissions. There is still funding available for non-compliant vehicles to upgrade ahead of the CAZ, said the council.

Newer, cleaner vehicles and vans and personal cars will not be charged, and there are also some specific vehicle exemptions, including for emergency service and military vehicles.

“Everyone can help improve air quality in the city by reducing the number of journeys they make, choosing to travel more sustainably by walking, cycling, scooting or taking public transport, and switching their engines off when stopped. You can find out more about how to do your bit to reduce air pollution in the city by visiting,” said the council.

Pic-Portsmouth CC

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