SLOW UPTAKE LEADS TO MP ENCOURAGING BUSINESSES TO APPLY FOR CLEAN AIR FUND GRANTS

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely is encouraging eligible Island businesses to apply for clean air fund grants before the funding runs out.

Last year Portsmouth City Council was instructed by the Government to introduce a Class B charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in the South West of the city to improve air quality. The city’s CAZ will come into effect in November 2021 which will result in fewer older, more polluting vehicles travelling on the roads.

To ensure that businesses can adapt their vehicles in time to comply with the CAZ, funding has been made available to help businesses upgrade or retrofit their vehicles, making them cleaner and greener and is open to anyone who regularly travels within the CAZ. The funding applies even if the business is based outside Portsmouth, however uptake on the Island has been slow.

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Mr Seely said:

“Currently only 17 vehicle applications have been approved for HGVs from the Island, which is nearly half the amount anticipated, and just three vehicle applications have been approved for buses and coaches.

“Across the area impacted by the Clean Air Zone there has been a large take up of funding but once the funding is gone, it’s gone, so it’s important that Islanders get their applications in quickly.”

The most polluting vehicles have been identified as buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles that don’t meet Euro 6 emissions standards (if diesel) or Euro 4 emissions standards (if petrol). Any drivers or operators of these ‘non-compliant’ vehicles can apply for the grant. Newer, cleaner vehicles and personal cars and vans will not be charged.

Drivers can visit www.cleanerairportsmouth.co.uk to enter their registration number to instantly find out whether they would need to pay a charge to drive in the CAZ.

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Anyone wishing to apply for a grant can visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/cleanairzone.

Any business in need of help with their application should get in touch with Portsmouth City Council via [email protected] or call 02392834593.

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