Portsmouth to increase monitoring of NO2

Portsmouth City Council will add a new air pollution monitoring station to its network, as it prepares for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in 2022.

If approved by the council, an additional continuous monitoring station will provide evidence of NO2 levels in a key location to the west-end of Alfred Road alongside St John’s Catholic Cathedral. They will also deploy new diffusion tubes throughout the city.

In September, the council rubber-stamped a Class B CAZ, which will charge older, polluting buses, coaches, taxis, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) entering the city each day, but would not charge private cars, as the council has said introducing a tougher CAZ could have a negative effect on residents and businesses.

The council were ordered by Defra to introduce a CAZ. In September, Cllr Dave Ashmore said the government were ‘imposing’ the CAZ on the city and have ignored suggestions by the local authority to improve air quality.

Current air pollution hotspots in Portsmouth include the end of the M275 motorway spur into the city and the area around Unicorn Gate, an entry point to its naval dockyard.

Portsmouth’s CAZ was initially going to cover all the Portsea Island area. However, they have now decided to make the zone’s boundary smaller and exclude Portsmouth International Port, which is owned by the council.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: ‘I am interested to read and discuss the recommendations, as understanding the levels of air pollution within the city is important in making future decisions so that we can go further than just maintaining compliance with government levels.’

The monitoring proposal will be put forward at the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change decision meeting tomorrow (January 30).

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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