Portsmouth City Council directed to implement Clean Air Zone
Posted: 6 April 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The council is required to implement a Class B charging Clean Air Zone as soon as possible and at the latest by the end of 2021, to bring forward compliance with legal limits for nitrogen dioxide to 2022.
The UK government has issued Portsmouth City Council with a fourth ministerial direction to improve air quality.
The ministerial direction states that a Class B clean air zone should be operational from November 2021. A daily charge for non-complaint HGVs, buses, coaches and taxis and public hire vehicles would be charged to those travelling in the zone to the south west of the city.
The council has been allocated over £6.2 million in funding to implement measures to improve air quality in Portsmouth and of this, £1.6 million is to help people make their vehicles compliant that would otherwise be charged.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “A Clean Air Zone is not our preferred approach to addressing air pollution in Portsmouth, especially during these unprecedented times, but we have to comply with the ministerial directive or face legal action from government.”
The government has also approved the councils’ request for funding that will support those likely to be most negatively impacted by the Clean Air Zone. In-addition to implementing the Clean Air Zone, the government has mandated a number of non-charging measures that will also support the reduction of air pollution.
The next step for the council is to carry out further technical modelling to inform the full business case that is due in November for approval by government.
“Council Officers will work with government to review how COVID-19 will impact the delivery timescales to make sure we provide an opportunity for people to have their say on how the zone will operate. However, at this time it is important I focus on how we get through COVID-19 together. Making sure we provide critical services and support the vulnerable in our city,” Vernon-Jackson continued.