Portsmouth's clean air zone will start on November 29

THE clean air zone in south west Portsmouth is set to come into force at the end of November.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 5:00 am

Next week, the city council's cabinet will be asked to approve the legal order which will bring the new rules into force from November 29.

This comes despite cabinet member for environment, councillor Dave Ashmore, saying the clean air zone was 'not our preferred option' and that it was being forced on the city by the government.

The council was issued with a ministerial directive last year ordering it to set it up based on breaches of nitrogen dioxide levels.

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Portsmouth's clean air zone will launch at the end of November

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Portsmouth will be the third area in the country to bring in a clean air zone, following Bath and North East Somerset and Birmingham. Other cities have also been told to introduce them.

Under the class B zone covering the south west of Portsea Island, non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £10 a day and lorries and buses £50 a day.

Non-compliant vehicles are buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles which do not meet Euro 6 standards if diesel, or Euro 4 standards if petrol.

The clean air zone for Portsmouth that will operate from November this year. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Vans and private cars will not be charged, regardless of their age.

Cllr Ashmore said the council was well prepared for the November launch.

‘We’ve been working hard to make sure that anyone that may be charged has been informed and supported, and in many cases we've been able to offer support for owners to upgrade their non-compliant vehicles,' he said. ‘We've also made sure that systems are all in place ahead of launch so that it goes as smoothly as possible.

‘Although a clean air zone is not our preferred option for improving air quality in Portsmouth, we are required by central government to launch the zone and I will make sure all the details we need to implement it are in place.'

Millions of pounds was awarded to the council earlier this year to cover the costs of setting it up - including the installation of number plate recognition cameras and signs - and for grants allowing affected drivers to upgrade their vehicles.

Grant funding is still available from the council.

The legal order will be considered by councillors at next Tuesday's cabinet meeting.