Southampton City could be handing out charges to hundreds of commuters and residents in an attempt to reduce air pollution.
The World Health Organisation, featured Southampton as one of the UK’s nine worst cities for air pollution, hence it may be included in a new scheme to crack down on diesel vehicles entering many of the UK’s largest cities.
The initiative, which comes after a report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) claimed pollutant nitrogen dioxide is responsible for 23,500 deaths in Britain each year, will likely amount to a £12.50 monetary charge to drivers within the city. Southampton City council’s cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, Dave Shields said:
We don’t really want to use tactics like slapping fines on. I think if you can work with business sectors in getting a reduction in poor air that can only be a good thingI don’t that that we’re seriously proposing congestion charging for the city.
According to South East MEP Catherine Bearder, the switch to diesel powered cars has had a negative effect on Southampton’s air quality.
Technology to reduce deadly diesel fumes is available and affordable, but car makers are still dragging their heels instead of making the transition to cleaner vehicles. It is about time that EU air pollution limits were properly enforced and not sidestepped or ignored. The longer we wait, the more lives will be tragically cut short.