A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in part of Portsmouth should be in place by the end of 2021 “at the latest” after Portsmouth City Council (PCC) was issued with a fourth Ministerial Direction to improve air quality.
The Direction states that a Class B charging CAZ, which will capture non-compliant coaches and buses but not minibuses or cars, is required.
It is slated to be introduced in an area to the south west of the city. It should be operational from November 2021.
PCC must submit a final business case to the government by November. Affected bodies will be given a change to comment on how the CAZ will impact them.
£1.6m will be allocated to the conversion of non-compliant vehicles to satisfy the Portsmouth CAZ, which will require Euro VI compliance of coaches and buses if a daily charge is to be avoided.
No indication has yet been given of what those charges will be, but PCC has previously suggested that they could be as high as £100 per day for some vehicle classes.
PCC is currently working with the government to review how the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic will affect the CAZ delivery timescale, says Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson adds that a CAZ is not PCC’s preferred approach to addressing the city’s air pollution problems, but that it has no choice other than to comply with the Ministerial Directive.
Other non-charging measures will also be introduced to support an improvement in air quality.