New funding to support NO2 plan in Southampton

In January, Southampton City Council submitted a business case to Government demonstrating how roadside levels of nitrogen dioxide would achieve legal compliance within the shortest possible time. Today the City Council has received confirmation that the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has agreed to support Southampton’s proposal. In total, DEFRA will contribute £1,807,303 towards a range of non-charging measures intended to ensure compliance and that will provide further benefits to local air quality. These include:

•Support for delivery service planning and freight consolidation for HGV operations in Southampton
•Introduction of citywide traffic regulation condition requiring a minimum euro 6 standard on all bus routes
•The introduction of new taxi licensing conditions requiring a minimum euro 6 diesel euro 4 petrol for newly licensed vehicles in 2020 and all vehicles by 2023
•Promotion of active and sustainable travel on the A3024
•Expansion of low emission taxi incentive scheme for Southampton licensed taxis
•Offering a free trial scheme for taxi operators to consider the benefits of electric vehicles
•Introduction of further charging points to support uptake of electric vehicles
•Additional monitoring and evaluation of air quality and improvement measures

Work on the introduction of these measures is already underway and will sit alongside existing measures being delivered through the council’s Clean Air Strategy. Proposals to support shore side power were unfortunately not supported but Southampton City Council will continue to pursue other opportunities and are committed to working with the port to make this happen.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City, comments on this decision: “This funding announcement is welcome news. Now we can move forward with our ambitious plans to make the city a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, visit and work.”