Portsmouth charging clean air zone launches

The government-mandated charging clean air zone (CAZ) had launched on Monday 29 November in Portsmouth. Drivers of private vans, cars and motorcycles will not be charged to drive in Portsmouth, no matter how old the vehicle is, but they could be charged in other clean air zones in the UK.

The Portsmouth CAZ is a class B, meaning that ‘non-compliant’ vehicles will be issued a daily charge to drive in the zone.  For the Portsmouth CAZ ‘non-compliant’ vehicles are buses, coaches, taxi, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet euro 6 standards if diesel, or euro 4 standard if petrol. Non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £10 per day to drive through the zone, and non-compliant buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will pay £50 per day.

There are some specific vehicle exemptions, including for emergency service and military vehicles. You can check if you’ll be charged on the government webpage: https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones

Last Friday, the air quality improvement team held an Air Quality Improvement Showcase that brought together a range of air quality schemes from across Portsmouth City Council as well as the rest of the city.

On Friday, visitors to the Cascades Centre were able to ask Portsmouth City Council’s air improvement quality team any questions they had about the CAZ and other measures to reduce air pollution. Children were able to take part in a colouring competition to show what cleaner air means to them. There is still time to enter the competition here https://cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk/colouring-competition

Representatives from First bus, Stagecoach and Pedal Portsmouth were in attendance to talk about ways people can travel around the city without adding to air pollution. Undercover Skatepark attended to talk about skateboarding as a form of sustainable travel and to promote the new skatepark that is due to open in the site of the old Sainsbury’s in Commercial Road. There was also a Ford Mustang Mach-E, to show people what the future of electric vehicles looks like.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environment, said: “Today is the day the clean air zone launches, but we should be speaking about air quality every day. There are so many ways we can all make a difference to the air quality in our city. It might be using public transport more, ditching the second car and joining a car club, making your next vehicle electric, or walking, catching the bus or renting an e-scooter for your next short journey.

As a council we’re working on creating the best possible conditions for these changes, from installing on-street electric car charging points and bicycle parking to extending the rental e-scooter trial and prioritising walking and cycling routes for residents.”

Everyone can help improve air quality in the city by reducing the number of car journeys they make, choosing to travel more sustainably by walking, cycling, scooting or taking public transport, and switching their engines off when stopped. You can find out more about how to do your bit to reduce air pollution in the city by visiting https://cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk/