Some drivers could be exempt from Portsmouth's clean air zone
MORE drivers could be made exempt from a chargeable clean air zone that will be installed in Portsmouth this year.
Councillors are set to discuss a full list of exemptions for local vehicle drivers and operators who would normally be charged to drive in the clean air zone (CAZ) at a cabinet meeting tomorrow (June 22), following requests from members of the public.
These include a 'stop-gap' exemption to help people who have applied for funding to replace or upgrade their vehicle, but are unable to get a compliant vehicle before the launch of the CAZ.
Under existing plans non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be charged between £10 and £50 to enter the zone in the south west of the city.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, the city’s environment boss, said: ‘It's important that we discuss any possible exemptions from the government imposed clean air zone charge at cabinet.
‘We've requested more funds from government for wheelchair accessible vehicles, appointed an engagement officer to support each affected group and have considered the importance of vital services in Portsmouth.
‘For anyone who is concerned whether they’ll be charged to drive in the zone, we encourage you to check use the vehicle checker on our website.
‘If this confirms you'll be charged, you may be able to access funding to help you upgrade your vehicle to a cleaner, greener one.’
As part of tomorrow’s debate emergency rail replacement buses and coaches may be offered an exemption for those required at short notice, such as when a train breaks down.
Horse transporters that are classified as HGVs may also be offered up to 10 trips a year through the zone without paying, allowing horse owners on the Isle of Wight access to mainland specialist animal hospitals without having to pay the charge.
It will also be suggested that 12 domestic refuse collection vehicles within the zone will be granted a two year exemption from paying the charge. This is on the condition that they are run using hydro treated vegetable oil as fuel, therefore reducing their emissions.
To apply for an exemption or for more information visit cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk.