New car tax changes set to launch within weeks – not the council’s ‘preferred option’

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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Portsmouth’s new Clean Air Zone charge will launch on November 29, just weeks after London’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone expansion. The new fee will mean many non-compliant vehicles which do not meet the guidelines will be charged a daily fee to use the roads.

This will include buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles which do not meet Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol emissions standards.

However, Portsmouth Council confirms vans and private cars will not be charged in the city no matter how old the vehicle is.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment said support had been offered to owners affected by the changes.

This included offering support for owners to upgrade their vehicles before the new fees are introduced.

Mr Ashmore added the new charge was not the council’s “preferred option” of tackling pollution but they had been left with no choice.

He said: “We’ve been working hard to make sure that anyone that may be charged as part of the CAZ has been informed and supported.

“In many cases, we’ve been able to offer support for owners to upgrade their non-compliant vehicles.

“We’ve also made sure that systems are all in place ahead of launch so that it goes as smoothly as possible.

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“Although a Clean Air Zone is not our preferred option for improving air quality in Portsmouth, we are required by central Government to launch the zone and I will make sure all the details we need to implement the CAZ are in place when we review the recommended launch date.”

High-polluting private hire vehicles and taxis will be hit with a £10 daily charge to use the new charging zone.

Meanwhile, heavier vehicles such as lorries and coaches will be charged £50 for driving through the zone.

The zone will only cover part of the South West section of the city centre.

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