CARS are not the leading source of air pollution in Portsmouth, a new report has revealed.
The city’s latest public health annual report says that HGV movements are having a greater impact on the poor air levels in the city than cars.
And it states that pollution from the city’s international port and from bus movements is also having a high effect.
Portsmouth was taken off a government watch-list of UK towns and cities that needed to imminently cut down on the prevalent issue, though London Road was recently named as a major trouble spot for levels of nitrogen dioxide.
The report’s statistics came as a surprise to opposition leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
He said: ‘It is quite alarming to see that HGV and shipping movements are having a big impact on air pollution in the city.
It is quite alarming to see that HGV and shipping movements are having a big impact on air pollution in the cityCouncillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson
‘I know we are developing a strategy that pushes for more people to get out of their cars in order to walk and cycle, but we need to explore other options here to tackle the other sources of pollution besides cars.’
He suggested a ‘simple solution’ needed to be found for ships entering Portsmouth International Port to cut down on the levels of carbon dioxide they produce.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson also said that the London Lorry-Control Scheme – in which the movements of HGVs over 18 tonnes are restricted – could be looked at for the city to potentially cut down on their pollutive effect.
The councillor was speaking at a meeting of the cabinet member for adult health and social care at the Guildhall yesterday.
Councillor Donna Jones, the authority’s leader, said that the council would look at ways to tackle the impact of HGV and shipping movements.
She suggested a route leading HGVs out of the city via the motorway would be explored and that the authority would push for greener technology on the city’s bus services.
‘By taking these HGVs away from roads like London Road, where people live and work and sending them up the motorway and around, it will help.
In regards to ships, I understand that Brittany Ferries have put scrubbers on ships to help cut down the emissions and that Wightlink’s new ferry is set to be more environmentally friendly.’