Portsmouth City Council will press ahead with preparations for a clean air zone on Portsea Island, which will charge older, non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis and heavy goods vehicles.
The proposal was agreed at a cabinet meeting yesterday (Monday).
Other measures being pursued
A number of other measures, including writing to parents of schoolchildren about the benefits of walking, installing electric charging points in taxi ranks and asking government a second time for cash to provide free bus passes for all in the city will also be pursued.
Under a directive from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs the council needs to prove it can reduce air pollution to a ‘safe’ level in the shortest possible time.
If they fail, a clean air zone charging all drivers in the city will be imposed.
Class B zone to be introduced
The council is confident a class B zone – which excludes private motorists – would be successful along with these other measures.
The council’s head of environment and climate change, Cllr Dave Ashmore, said:
“We can’t just rely on a clean air zone to solve our pollution problems.
“As soon as we hit compliance the zone can be removed, which doesn’t help.
“We need to put other things in place that will help with air quality in the long term.”
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, revealed yesterday that he’d written to Portsmouth City Council to raise concerns about the impact a Clean Air Zone in the city may have on the Isle of Wight’s small haulage companies and coach companies visiting the Island.
A report will now be prepared for Defra.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed