Opening date: 15/07/2020


Closing date: 26/08/2020


Contact

Phone: 023 9268 8955


Air pollution is a global public health risk, more harmful than passive smoking. Areas of Portsmouth have levels of nitrogen dioxide that are likely to continue to be above legal limits unless strong action is taken quickly. Creating a Clean Air Zone is Central government’s preferred approach to addressing air pollution in the shortest possible time, for a number of cities across the UK. Portsmouth’s Clean Air Zone must be live before the end of 2021.

The Clean Air Zone consultation aims to give everyone an opportunity to have their say on how the zone operates and how we can fairly support drivers with older polluting vehicles.

Find out more about Portsmouth’s CAZ

Take part in the Clean Air Zone consultation

Businesses – take part in the Clean Air Zone consultation

What is proposed and why?

The CAZ is being introduced to Portsmouth because the city has ongoing problems with poor air quality. Air pollution is a global health risk and is more harmful than passive smoking. Each year around 100 deaths in Portsmouth can be linked to air pollution, therefore we need to act quickly to reduce air pollution in the shortest possible time.

The charging Clean Air Zone will result in a daily charge being issued to the most polluting vehicles for driving in the zone – these vehicles are referred to as ‘non-compliant’ vehicles.

For the Portsmouth charging CAZ, non-compliant vehicles are HGVs, buses and coaches, taxis and Private Hire Vehicles that: 

  • Do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards (so are Euro 5 or older) if they are diesel 
  • Do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards (so are Euro 3 or older) if they are petrol 

If you’re not sure what Euro standard your vehicle is please check your vehicle log book.

At present we are not proposing to charge vans as government has approved our plans for a charging Class B CAZ. However, due to the uncertainty brought about by coronavirus, central government has indicated they may require the charging of vans to meet air quality objectives. If this happens the information provided in this consultation by van drivers will help us bid for funding to support those affected by the charge.

The proposed zone, approx. 3km2, will be located to the south west of Portsmouth (see map).

Timeline

  • Oct 2019:  Outline local air quality plan was submitted to government
  • Mar 2020: Government approval of the outline local air quality plan
  • 16 July to 26 Aug 2020: Clean air zone public consultation
  • Winter 2020: Full clean air zone plan submitted to government
  • Spring 2021: Government approval for full clean air zone plan
  • Summer 2021: Zone cameras and signage installed
  • Autumn 2021: Zone charging starts
  • Autumn 2022: Target date for compliance of pollution hotspots

Have your say

Your feedback will inform specific aspects of the zone design, including the proposed charges, zone operating times, vehicle exclusions and support packages for those most negatively impacted, as well as how we can encourage more people to travel sustainably.

However, there are certain things that we are unable to change; these include the type of vehicles charged and the size of the zone. There is also a restriction on any changes that we implement; any changes to the zone cannot negatively impact the compliance date. 

Please read the CAZ consultation guide before completing the survey.

Take part in the Clean Air consultation

Businesses – take part in the Clean Air Zone consultation

The CAZ consultation closes on Wednesday 26 August.

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy or large print version of the survey by calling 023 9268 8955 (9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday, excluding the Bank Holiday).

The booklet also provides details if you prefer to answer the survey over the phone.

Please return all paper copies to Cleaner Air Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2BG.

Next steps

Your feedback will help us to review the zone to see if any alterations can be made.  This information will inform the final plan that Portsmouth City Council submits to government later this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charging Clean Air Zone?

A charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is an identified area where the oldest, most polluting vehicles are issued a daily charge if they enter the zone. It works in a similar way to the low emission zone in London.

 

There are two categories of Clean Air Zones: non-charging and charging. Central government requires us to implement a charging Clean Air Zone.

Why does Portsmouth need a CAZ?

Portsmouth City Council was identified by central government as one of over 60 local authorities that had air pollution levels in excess of legal limits and have been told to make an improvement as soon as possible.

 

Our technical work shows that a package of non-charging measures, even with the natural reduction in polluting vehicles over time, will still not be enough to achieve the level of improvement in air quality and therefore central government requires us to implement a charging Clean Air Zone.

Why am I being asked for my views when we are required by government to implement at CAZ?

Your feedback will inform specific aspects of the zone design, including the proposed charges, zone operating times, vehicle exclusions and support packages for those most negatively impacted, as well as how we can encourage more people to travel sustainably.

 

However, there are certain things that we are unable to change; these include the type of vehicles charged and the size of the zone. There is also a restriction on any changes that we implement – these cannot negatively impact the compliance date.

When will the CAZ start in Portsmouth?

The CAZ will ‘go live’ in late 2021. Before then you’re likely to see cameras and signs being installed on the main roads into the city centre.

Will I have to pay a charge?

It depends which vehicle you drive. Only buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles that are older than Euro 6 if diesel, and Euro 4 if petrol, will be charged. Any vehicles newer than this will not be charged, and we are not currently proposing to charge cars or vans. However, central government has indicated they may add vans if air quality improvements are not met.

 

If you’re not sure what Euro standard your vehicle is please check your vehicle log book, or contact your vehicle manufacturer directly.

Are there any exemptions?

Some groups of specialist vehicles are already exempt as set out by government. These include (but are not limited to) disabled passenger vehicles registered with a disabled tax class, military vehicles and vehicles retrofitted to Euro 6 standard. You can find out more about exemptions on the government’s website.

How much will the charge be?

We will confirm the charges after the Clean Air Zone consultation.

 

The charges for travelling within the zone will be issued automatically and you will only be charged once per day no matter how many trips into the zone you make.

I saw in the news that you will be charging vans - is this true?

At present we are not proposing to charge vans as government has approved our plans for a charging Class B CAZ. However, due to the uncertainty brought about by coronavirus, central government has indicated they may require the charging of vans to meet air quality objectives. If this happens the information provided in this consultation by van drivers will help us bid for funding to support those affected by the charge.

What are the different classes of Clean Air Zones?

There are four classes of Clean Air Zone:

  • Class A: buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Class B: buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and HGVs
  • Class C: buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs and LGVs
  • Class D: buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, LGVs and cars

You can find out more about the different classes on the government’s website.

Air pollution has reduced during lockdown so why do we still need a CAZ?

We have seen a temporary reduction in nitrogen dioxide whilst there were fewer vehicles on the road, however as traffic levels increase again so is the air pollution.

 

With such uncertainty about the longer term impacts the lockdown will have on travel behaviour and the economy, we must continue with our plans to introduce a charging CAZ to ensure we achieve legal limits for nitrogen dioxide by the end of 2022.

I won't be able to afford the charges - what can I do?

Please take part in the Clean Air Zone survey as we are seeking views on the best ways we can help people who feel they will be affected financially by the CAZ. We have secured funding from government to issue grants or loans to pay towards a replacement or retrofit of the most polluting vehicles but we need to hear your views to understand the best way to help as many people as possible.

What else is Portsmouth City Council doing to improve air quality?

The charging CAZ is only one small part of the work we are undertaking to tackle air pollution and climate change in the city. We are providing more Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points; reviewing taxi licensing rules to encourage cleaner taxis and private hire vehicles in the city; using the parking permits fee to encourage low emission vehicles, and discourage multiple car ownership, and we are changing parking capacity and pricing, including expanding the Park and Ride. We are also retrofitting over 100 local buses so they meet cleaner Euro 6 standards.

 

We are working across the council to improve air quality. In support of addressing the specific challenge of air pollution in Portsmouth, the draft Local Transport Plan focuses on changes we can make within the city to create cleaner, greener safer travel in Portsmouth. This is supported by the draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan that aims to create continuous cycling and walking routes that more people want to use for travelling around the city. You can find out more about these plans in the other sections of this website.

Why are private cars not being charged?

The different vehicles charged in the CAZ are set out in the Government’s Clean Air Zone Framework. This framework sets four classes on Clean Air Zones ranging from A-D, with A being the least stringent and D being most stringent (including all vehicle types). Our modelling shows that a Class B CAZ is likely to be sufficient in reducing air pollution in the shortest possible time. Therefore central government has confirmed that they will not provide funding for a CAZ D that would charge cars.