Residents react to plan for clean air zone in Portsmouth

A class B clean air zone is the preferred option for Portsmouth City Council, which includes buses, coaches, taxis and heavy goods vehicles of certain ages. Picture: Shutterstock
A class B clean air zone is the preferred option for Portsmouth City Council, which includes buses, coaches, taxis and heavy goods vehicles of certain ages. Picture: Shutterstock
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RESIDENTS had their say on plans to charge older buses, lorries and taxis to drive within a proposed clean air zone in Portsmouth.

As part of a plan submitted to the government yesterday older commercial vehicles could be charged up to £50 a day to enter the south west of the city.

The area of Portsmouth that could be a chargeable clean air zone if agreed by government. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

The area of Portsmouth that could be a chargeable clean air zone if agreed by government. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

It comes after a clean air directive from government forced Portsmouth City Council to look at measures to reduce emissions.

But some had fears about how this would impact those affected. Danni Jayan, 22, from Fratton said: ‘I think it's a bit expensive. They're charging a lot of money, especially to taxis' fearing this will drive up taxi fares.’

Taxi driver Stephen Wain, 61, from Anchorage Park agreed. He said 'We do need a clean air zone but the council have gone the wrong way around it completely. Up in London, taxis buses and lorries are exempt, but here in Portsmouth they are going completely the opposite way. Do it for everybody, not just for taxis.'

Anchorage Park resident Peter Hassett, 71, had concerns about the amount of cars in the city already. 'There's far too much traffic around,' he said. 

'There's a lot of diesel cars – they should try and reduce the amount entering Portsmouth itself. There aren't enough parking spaces, so people start parking in my area and that brings a lot of pollution.'

Maxine Grantham, 50, who works for G&S Jewellers in Charlotte Street, added: 'We do generate a lot of traffic here, but we're surrounded by sea air – we're not living in London. It could affect business as it could put people off coming into town if they don't understand the new regulations'.

However, Southsea mum Jessica Brown, 28, said: 'I have a young child and I think in terms of health, it would be quite beneficial in congested areas like the city centre.’

But she added: ‘It might possibly be harmful to businesses if they are all being charged.'

If approved the clean air zone is expected to be implemented in 2021.