Clean air strategy one year on: Including 90% off parking for electric car owners

The offer is the first in a range of measures to encourage drivers to move to electric vehicles.

One year after Southampton City Council launched its Clean Air Strategy, we are highlighting a number of offers available now and many to come, to reduce polluting emissions in the city.

As part of the strategy the council is offering a huge 90% reduction in city-centre seasonal parking tickets to electric car owners. The offer is the first in a range of measures to encourage drivers to move to electric vehicles. It is also part of a wider focus on sustainable travel and low emission technology.

Clean Air VanThe vast range of actions from the Clean Air Strategy includes investment in a super cycle way along the Western Approach, and the introduction of a network of electric charging points across the city in early 2018.

Cabinet Member for Sustainable Living, Councillor Chris Hammond said: “This offer highlights how seriously the council are taking the issue of air quality and the associated health implications. We are looking at introducing a wide network of electric charging points in Southampton early next year. And we’re also in the middle of exchanging any older council vehicles that need replacing with electric ones.

"We recognise that electric vehicles are not the only solution and that we need a whole range actions, but this is one part of a bigger picture. For example if more of us choose to walk or cycle to work or school each week, not only would we save money and get fitter, but there would be a marked impact on the air quality in the city.”

In addition to the 90% reduction on city-centre season parking tickets for drivers of electric vehicles, the council has many more projects and incentives to improve air quality in Southampton. These include:

  • A commitment to changing the smaller cars in its fleet to electric vehicles by 2020; the first of these will be on the road in 2018.
  • Taking part in the award-winning National Clean Air Day in June this year, where the council engaged with over 2,000 people. There are plans for a similar event in 2018.
  • An upcoming ‘No-Idling’ campaign to promote the benefits to the health of people in the immediate vicinity of switching off stationary vehicle engines.
  • The ‘Step up Southampton’ campaign through October this year that encouraged people to swap their car journey for a walk instead. The goal was for people in the city to jointly walk 10 million steps –in excess of 11 million steps were reached!
  • Encouraging the uptake of low emission vehicles in the cities taxi fleet by offering incentives for replacing older, more polluting vehicles.
  • Upgrading the railway infrastructure for freight into and out of the city, subsequently reducing the amount of rail haulage journeys required.
  • Championing rail travel – upgrading Southampton station with a £7 million investment.
  • Developing My Journey, a one stop platform for travel information and advice in and around the Southampton area, including identifying less polluted routes for walkers and cyclists.
  • A £1m plus investment in the Western Approach cycle way to include green infrastructure along key sections of the Port boundary.

One of the most important measures that the council is introducing is a Clean Air Network (CAN) through which it will engage with a wide set of businesses across the city, including the Port and other industrial companies. The network will also be available to schools, community groups and everyone else interested in improving air quality in Southampton.

To find out more about the reduction in seasonal parking tickets for electric car owners, go to: http://bit.ly/2y1ZPxx

To sign up to join the Clean Air Network email airquality@southampton.gov.uk