£6.6m government funding for Portsmouth’s Clean Air Zone

Portsmouth City Council’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will begin in November after it received £6.6m of government funding.

They have been awarded a total of £3.4m in funding to prepare for the CAZ, which will fund registration recognition cameras, signage and everything else that is needed to create the zone.

The funding also includes £0.5m to install rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the city and, at first, these will be available for drivers of electric taxis and private hire vehicles to help them operate more efficiently, while continuing to make Portsmouth a more attractive city for electric vehicle ownership.

Drivers of some of the most polluting vehicle types, who will be charged to travel through Portsmouth’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ), are set to benefit from government funding towards improvements which will make their vehicles cleaner and greener.

Owners of vehicles that will need to pay when travelling within the zone can apply for funding from the £3.2m Clean Air Fund, which will help drivers to upgrade or retrofit their vehicles, making them cleaner and greener.

The most polluting vehicles that travel within the boundary of the CAZ will be charged, including buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards (diesel) or Euro 4 emissions standards (petrol).

Newer, cleaner vehicles and personal cars and vans will not be charged, and there are also some specific vehicle exemptions.

Portsmouth City Council was issued with a ministerial directive in March 2020 to introduce a Class B charging Clean Air Zone in the south west of the city as soon as possible and at least in time to bring forward compliance with legal limits for air pollution to 2022.

Portsmouth has ongoing problems with air pollution and some areas of Portsmouth have levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that are above legal limits and the Clean Air Zone is a part of the council’s commitment towards improving air quality.

Commenting, Portsmouth City Council’s Assistant Director for Transport, Pam Turton said: “Air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to public health, so it is important we all take action.

“Like many cities across the UK, the council is required by the government to address air pollution in the shortest possible time by introducing the CAZ. Our Clean Air Zone will go live in November 2021.

“Alongside this, we are delivering £100M of improvements for bus, walking and cycling journeys, as well as trialling rental e-scooters, safe and secure cycle storage in residential areas and encouraging cleaner areas around schools, all to help make the air we breathe cleaner.”

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