Despite a reduction in traffic volumes and air pollution levels during lockdown, Portsmouth City Council is still required by the government to introduce the charging zone in the city by the end of 2021 to help bring pollution levels down.
Older polluting HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicle will be charged but the council want to offer financial support to those replace polluting vehicles and have launched a survey to identify who is most in need of the financial help.
The survey, which was launched on July 15, ends on Monday, August 31.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: ‘It is important we do all we can do to improve air quality in Portsmouth, as polluted air impacts everyone's health. Improving cleaner travel options is essential to the future of our city. We must all take action to improve air quality.
‘The government-funded Clean Air Zone is not our preferred solution to the air pollution problem. However, we are required to do this so we are making sure we do this in the best possible way by giving everybody the opportunity to have their say on how it will operate and those impacted can tell us their views on how funding support can be shared fairly.’
The government may also impose a Class C Clean Air Zone, meaning that older more polluting vans would also be charged and the survey also includes the chance for van drivers to have their say.
Cllr Ashmore added: ‘We have included questions for owners of light goods vehicles in case government changes zone requirements. However, I appreciate this may be devastating for many small businesses recovering from lockdown if they started being charged next year.
‘This is why we are seeking views from drivers of light goods vehicles now. If government makes this change we will have the evidence to support our case for securing as much funding as possible to help people with the most polluting vehicles to change to cleaner types.’
To answer the survey visit portsmouth.gov.uk/cleanairzone.