Last year, Portsmouth City Council proposed a class B CAZ to deal with it’s air pollution problem by charging lorries, coaches and taxis to enter the south west of the city. After a month’s delay, DEFRA has now approved those plans and will provide £6.2m funding to implement it. I have already expressed concern that this plan might not be sufficient to bring pollution to within legal levels, let alone within the required “as quickly as possible” time scale. Private cars and light goods vehicles will not be charged under the scheme. The leader of the council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has called the introduction of a clean air zone heavy handed:

A Clean Air Zone is not our preferred approach to addressing air pollution in Portsmouth

However, all past air improvement plans have been found to be insufficient, forcing stronger measures to be enacted. The time for less drastic measures to take effect has been squandered.

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