Portsmouth Clean Air Zone: Cameras start to be put up to monitor polluting vehicles in city
DOZENS of number plate recognition cameras are being installed from this week ahead of the introduction of the Portsmouth clean air zone later this year.
The city council is putting up 39 cameras across the city which will be used to monitor vehicles and check whether they are required to pay the clean air zone charge once it comes into force in November.
Cabinet member for environment, councillor Dave Ashmore, said they would only be used for this purpose and would not be able to see into any property.
The government-imposed clean air zone will start in November as part of efforts to bring pollution levels in the city down.
It will cover much of the south-west of Portsmouth including the city centre. It also covers the Wightlink ferry terminal but not the international port.
This has been welcomed by environmental campaigners but they have called for the zone to become a long-term system, rather than having a short-term focus to bring pollution down before being removed.
The most polluting ‘non-compliant’ vehicles will be charged to travel through the area ranging from £10 per day for taxis and private hire cars to £50 a day for buses and lorries.
Earlier this year the council was given £6.6m – £3.4m of which was to cover the cost of the cameras – to help fund the clean air zone.
On Sunday, work began to install 39 cameras across the area which will be used to check registration plates and whether they are required to pay charges.
The council said the cameras would be installed in a ‘fixed position’ to check cars and would not be used as part of its CCTV network.
‘I want to reassure residents in the zone that these cameras will only be used to operate the clean air zone that the government says we have to have to tackle air pollution in the city,’ Cllr Ashmore said. ‘I hope the letters we send out ahead of the zone going live will help businesses and residents prepare for the changes ahead.’
The council said it was installing the cameras earlier to allow for time for the equipment to be tested before the zone comes into being in November and raise awareness among drivers of its arrival in advance.