Cllrs discuss making certain vehicles exempt from Portsmouth’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
The Portsmouth CAZ, which is due to go live in November 2021, will charge the most polluting buses, coaches, tacis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles to enter the zone.
However, in a full cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (June 22), the council discussed a list of exemptions for local vehicle drivers and operators.
A ‘stop-gap’ exemption will also be considered for people who have applied for funding to replace or upgrade their vehicle, but for reasons outside of their control are unable to get a compliant vehicle before the launch of the CAZ.
Emergency rail replacement buses and coaches may also be offered an exemption for those required at short notice, such as when a train breaks down.
Horse transporters that are classified as HGVs may also be offered up to 10 trips a year through the zone without paying.
It has also been suggested that 12 domestic refuse collection vehicles will be granted a two-year exemption. This is on the condition that they are run using hydro-treated vegetable oil as fuel, therefore reducing their emissions.
The City Council previously agreed to grant an exemption to private hire vehicles that are classified as Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) for the first six months, and school and community transport will be exempt for two years after the CAZ launches.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, the cabinet member for community safety and environment, said: ‘It’s important that we discuss any possible exemptions from the government imposed Clean Air Zone charge at Cabinet. We’ve requested more funds from the government for wheelchair accessible vehicles, appointed an engagement officer to support each affected group and have considered the importance of vital services in Portsmouth.
‘For anyone who is concerned whether they’ll be charged to drive in the zone, we encourage you to check use the vehicle checker on our website. If this confirms you’ll be charged, you may be able to access funding to help you upgrade your vehicle to a cleaner, greener one.’
To apply for an exemption, visit www.cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk.
Photo by J Torres