'Not hugely keen': New car tax zone set to launch despite 'better and cheaper' alternative

Portsmouth will introduce their Clean Air Zone on November 29, 2021, with daily charges being issued to non-compliant vehicles travelling through the city. Private cars, motorcycles and vans will not be charged in the CAZ in Portsmouth, while non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £10 per day.

“The point is to get older and polluting vehicles not to drive through Portsmouth.”

Hayley Trower, Air Quality Improvement Manager for Portsmouth City Council, also commented on the CAZ and what it will mean for drivers.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “With the grants we’ve been giving out, we’ve been able to help businesses not only in Portsmouth but also on the Isle of Wight who can demonstrate that they drive through the CAZ regularly.

“They’re not being treated differently to any other business but what our evidence has shown is where our two illegal levels of pollution are, it is heavily trafficked by vehicles going to the Isle of Wight.

He said: “We’re not hugely keen because we think there are better and cheaper ways of improving air pollution. If we have everybody free bus passes in the city, lots of people would leave their cars at home.

“But the Government won’t do that, they just have a single way of doing this.

“We’ve asked them to do a scrappage scheme to get rid of the worst polluted cars in the city centre, the Government is not interested.

“This is very much what a Government designed scheme looks like and they’re right, we’ve got to tackle air pollution. It’s very important that we do it.

“We just think there are probably better and more efficient ways of doing it,” he told Express.co.uk.

A Government spokesperson said: “While air pollution across the country has reduced significantly since 2010, we know there is more to do.

“That is why we are investing £880 million to clean up transport and cut pollution in the shortest possible time, working with local authorities to urgently tackle emissions.

“We are investing £8.6 million across Portsmouth to help reduce nitrogen dioxide levels.”

They also stated that decisions around the introduction of Clean Air Zones remain the responsibility of local councils, in consultation with residents and local businesses.

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