Portsmouth Clean Air Zone plans could include charge for diesel vehicles registered before 2015

Measures that ‘may be introduced’ in Portsmouth include vehicles registered before 2006 or diesel vehicles registered before 2015 faced with a charge to enter the city.

dirty exhaust

Portsmouth City Council has approved the submission of plans to improve air quality across the city, but warned they will need sufficient funding to meet targets – with one estimate put at £400m.

Within the Air Quality Annual Status Report the council has put together a series of proposed measures to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide with the report confirming that ‘levels in Portsmouth are a significant concern’.

Public Health England  advised that long-term exposure to air pollution can reduce life expectancy due to cardiovascular and lung disease. 

Winnington: Air pollution “a potential killer”
At a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday (25th June) Councillor Matthew Winnington, head of health, said:

“Fundamentally air pollution could be lowering people’s life expectancy. It’s not only dangerous but a potential killer. This report needs to be taken extremely seriously.”

Ashmore: Addressing life expectancy in low income areas
Cllr Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for environment and climate change, added:

“People in low-income areas across the city have a life expectancy ten years lower than in wealthier neighbourhoods. Hopefully tackling air quality will help to address this issue.”

Traffic pollution the biggest contributor
The report identified traffic pollution as the biggest contributor to nitrogen dioxide levels and highlighted a number of ongoing and proposed measures to tackle the problem.

Strategies included route-long cycle safety improvements on London Road, increased electric vehicle charging points, park and ride schemes and a bus retrofit programme to reduce exhaust emissions.

Controversial Clean Air Zone
The most controversial measure which ‘may be introduced’ is a Clean Air Zone which would see older vehicles registered before 2006 or diesel vehicles registered before 2015 faced with a charge to enter the city.

However, councillors believed that whatever measures are put in place greater support is needed from the government.

Sanders: Need to control housing targets
Housing boss, Cllr Darren Sanders, added:

“Four hundred million pounds of funding is needed. We also need to take control over the number of homes we are building rather than having targets imposed on us.”

Deputy leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, said:

“We need to be set appropriate targets for Portsmouth. We are an island city with only three roads on and off.”

The report will be submitted to The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to ratify the proposed  plans. 

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

Image: armydre2008 under CC BY 2.0

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4 Comments on "Portsmouth Clean Air Zone plans could include charge for diesel vehicles registered before 2015"

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Plenty of hybrid and electric cars out there. Consumers need to be further incentivised to buy them, which will take a national strategy.

Penalising those with old diesels not only targets the poorer in our society, it also contradicts the policy of the government AT THE TIME which (stupidly) suggested everyone buy them in the first place.


We had never bought a new car before 2014, did research and tried different cars. Settled for a diesel car which was good value for money at the time, and considered less polluting than petrol at the time. The encouragement of the government WAS a factor in our decision.


You think a diesel car is a good choice?

Parts of France are hitting 45C

Massive forest fires in Spain.

But have fun.

Maybe we get the heat on the Island soon as well.

Still think any kind of car, nevermind a diesel car is ok?


Punish the car drivers who produce the least pollution (except maybe trains and bikes) What about Aviation, Shipping and the solar radiation management programme ?