Anything we can do to clean up our fleet I welcome. It is a small measure but it is a step

Taxis in Fareham
Taxis in Fareham
The new Revitalise charity shop in Stubbington L to R: Sheila Grainger, Della Springett, Yvonne Musgrove, Jo Holman and Larissa Chapman  Picture supplied

Charity hopes to raise vital cash with new Stubbington shop

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The initiative, being run by Fareham Borough Council, is in a bid to reduce high nitrogen oxide levels along the A27 and the A32.

Head of environmental health at the council, Ian Rickman, spoke to councillors yesterday at a meeting to discuss the plans.

He said: ‘The government was taken to court twice over their air quality plans and so set scientists to work with a computer to find out what areas in the country have air quality issues and which ones could potentially have problems in the future.

‘The A27 and A32 stretch of road were identified as potentially being an issue by 2020, and so we were set a task of coming up with a list of solutions to prevent this by December next year.’

The council were eligible to apply for early measures funding to combat the issue and received a £150,000 grant.

Ian explained; ‘The money will fund an incentive scheme for taxis in our area to swap from old polluting diesel vehicles to newer models which meet current standards.’

Drivers in the area that have been licensed with the council for the past 12 months will be able to take part in the scheme which will see the council pay for licensing for five years and cash sums for servicing costs and insurance.

Councillor Fred Birkett said: ‘Anything we can do to clean up our fleet I welcome.

‘It is a small measure but it is a step.’

Councillor Susan Bell added: ‘I am pleased we are doing something about this issue.’

The scheme will launch this month and run until February with the council’s environmental health team reporting back to the government in regards to the take up.

Ian added: ‘If the scheme is going well and the money runs out by February, it would be good to get an extension for the scheme to run till December next year to get another bite at the cherry.’

The worst case scenario for not meeting the air quality levels is fines, but the council believe the taxi scheme and others they have in the pipeline will combat the problem.

Ian said: ‘We are looking at cleaning up our local buses as well to help with air quality.’

But some feel the county council need to help out more.

Councillor Leslie Keeble added: ‘We have to do something but Hampshire County Council need to something as well.’