Portsmouth's busiest roads could be removed from £10 a day clean air zone

SOME of the city’s busiest roads could be taken out of a planned clean air zone in Portsmouth after more than 2,000 people responded to a consultation.

By Fiona Callingham
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 9:35 am
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 1:59 pm

Portsmouth City Council has heard from 2,100 residents and 140 businesses who told how a chargeable zone in the south west of the city - due to be implemented next year – would affect them.

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Clean air zone will be in place in Portsmouth by 2021

As a result, a few alterations to its boundary will be considered by the city council, including removing Kingston Crescent and Fratton Road, the Fratton roundabout and Holbrook Road roundabout.

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Residents and businesses had their say on plans for a clean air zone in Portsmouth

Creating a zone to cover the whole of Portsea Island is still off the table.

As reported, the government is imposing a clean air zone in Portsmouth that will mean charging non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis and heavy goods vehicles - and potentially vans and minivans - as a way to reduce levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, the council's environment cabinet member, said: ‘As this is a government imposed thing from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs we still don't get a say in whether we have a clean air zone or not.

‘What we wanted to do is make sure we consult with businesses, residents and taxi drivers to see what would be more effective for them.’

However, Conservative councillor, Luke Stubbs, said a review should be carried out as he said pollution levels had dropped during lockdown.

He said: ‘Leeds City Council is considering dropping its clean air zone because air quality has improved as the number of vehicle movements has fallen post-Covid.

‘We should do the same. The level of emissions in Portsmouth was only ever marginally over the limit and if in future more people work from home then the charges will be hard to justify.’

Cllr Ashmore added: ‘At the beginning of lockdown yes pollution went down because people were staying at home, businesses were shut and there wasn't much need for cars and other polluting vehicles to be on the road.

‘Since restrictions have eased up the levels are building back to where they were, so it's still needed.’

Non-compliant vehicles could be charged around £10 a day to drive in the zone.

A report on the clean air zone will be discussed at a city council cabinet meeting next week.

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