Today, Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council have published their Clean Air Zone consultation report. Government have instructed both authorities to introduce a business plan that will ensure compliance with legal limits of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) within the shortest possible time. The consultation sought opinions on how this might be achieved, and identified a charging scheme as one possible solution.
The response to the Clean Air Zone consultation was unprecedented with 9,309 views received. It yielded a broad spectrum of responses, which have been categorised into 132 key topics. Consultation responses are being assessed alongside extensive transport and air quality modelling work to inform each council’s clean air plan.
Southampton City Council Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City, said "The scale of the public reaction to the consultation confirms that people living, working and visiting Southampton share our commitment to improving the quality of air in the city. The feedback provides us with a clear understanding of what people think is important – including the impact on public health, transport and the economy. Combined with further technical analysis, public feedback will play a key role in informing our plan."
New Forest District Council will submit its plan to Government by 31 December 2018 for approval. Prior to this their plan will be discussed at a meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 13 December 2018, and then a decision will be taken at a meeting of their Cabinet on 18 December 2018.
Southampton City Council will submit its plan to Government by 31 January 2019 for approval. Prior to this the plan will be discussed at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 16 January 2019, and then a decision will be taken at a special Cabinet meeting on 22 January 2019. In order to provide maximum space for stakeholders and interested groups to attend, the Southampton City Council special Cabinet meeting will be held in the Southampton Guildhall, rather than the Council Chamber.
Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council continue to work closely together in advance of both Cabinet meetings.