A SCHEME to replace ageing diesel taxi cabs has been hailed ‘a step forward’ for cleaner air but ‘more is needed’ says an environment group.
Fareham Borough Council secured £150,000 grant earlier this year in a bid to improve air quality on the A27 and the A32 as levels in the borough were labelled ‘concerning’ by the government.
The money will fund a taxi scheme with cash incentives for drivers to switch to ultra low emission and hybrid vehicles and is set to launch later this month running until February 2019.
Fareham and Gosport Friends of The Earth have made air quality one of their main issues to concentrate on this year, running a school competition with pupils designing banners to go along the A32 to make drivers think about air pollution
Chair Tim Pratt said: ‘I think we should praise the council for this scheme as it a move in the right direction but we also need to remember that taxi rides are not the majority of journeys made along that stretch of road.’
Tim and his group believe there are other solutions which could have a bigger impact.
He said: ‘I think there needs to be more funding put into improving public transport as well as better pathways for cyclists and walkers throughout the borough.
‘Car sharing should also be marketed as a great idea to help and reduce the amount of traffic.’
Portsmouth City Council were also awarded cash to tackle areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide in five problem areas in the city, including Eastern Road, the A3 as it enters the city and areas near the naval base and university.
The boost comes ahead of national Clean Air Day on June 21 when the council will showcase ideas on cutting pollution.
Active travel officers will tour the city on Pedal Portsmouth bikes giving advice.