Cleaner air for Portsmouth! Here's everything you need to know about the Portsmouth Clean Air Zone.

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What is the Portsmouth Clean Air Zone?

The Portsmouth Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was launched on 29 November 2021 to help accelerate the uptake of low or zero-emission vehicles and reduce congestion in the city centre. The zone will charge high-polluting vehicles whose emissions contribute to over 50% of the city's air pollution.

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Why does Portsmouth need a Clean Air Zone?

Portsmouth City Council was identified by the government as one of over 60 authorities that had excessively high air pollution levels.

To tackle this, a daily charge is issued to the most polluting vehicles for driving in the zone. For the Portsmouth charging CAZ, non-compliant vehicles are Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), buses and coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles that:

  • Do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards (so are Euro 5 or older) if they are diesel.
  • Do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards (so are Euro 3 or older) if they are petrol.

Private cars, motorcycles and vans are not charged to drive in the zone.

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What you need to know

Portsmouth is a Class B Zone, meaning buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are all included in the charge.
Portsmouth CAZ operating times
Portsmouth's Clean Air Zone will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All year round.
How much is the Portsmouth CAZ charge?

The charge you need to pay is dependent on your vehicle type. Taxis and private hire vehicles will need to pay a £10 fee. HGVs, buses and coaches will pay a £50 fee. Private cars or motorcycles are exempt from this charge.

Charges apply daily, so if you're entering and exiting the zone multiple times on the same day, you will only need to pay once.

But, if you drive in the zone across two days, for example before midnight and after midnight, you'll need to pay two daily charges.

Fines for the Portsmouth CAZ

If you forget to pay the fee, you’ll get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) in the post for a £120 fine. This is reduced to £60 if you pay it within 14 days.

The Penalty Charge is payable in addition to the Clean Air Zone daily charge dependant on your vehicle type.

Portsmouth CAZ charge exemptions

You’re automatically entitled to an exemption and do not have to pay a charge if you have:

  • A vehicle that’s Ultra Low Emission
  • A disabled passenger tax class vehicle
  • A disabled tax class vehicle
  • A military vehicle
  • A vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
  • A historic vehicle
  • Certain types of agricultural vehicles

There are quite a few other exemptions to the charges. If you’re driving one of these vehicles, you need to apply for exemption on the Portsmouth Council website:

  • All emergency vehicles - exempt for life
  • Specialist vehicles - exempt for life
  • Recovery vehicles - exempt for life
  • School and community transport - exempt until 29 November 2023
  • Emergency rail or bus replacement buses and coaches - exempt if required at a short notice
  • Horse transporters - allowed 10 trips a year at no charge
  • Non-commercial vintage buses - allowed 10 trips a year at no charge

If you were in the middle of a vehicle upgrade before the CAZ launched, you might be eligible for short-term exemption. You should apply for this on the Portsmouth Council website.

How much of Portsmouth does the zone cover?

The CAZ is approximately 3 sq km, and is located to the south west of Portsmouth. It includes the car ferry port to the Isle of Wight and north zone of the University of Portsmouth.

The northern part of the zone reaches Kingston Crescent, continues all the way down to Winston Churchill Avenue in the south of Portsmouth and Portsmouth harbour to the west.

Portsmouth CAZ Map
How do I know if I'm about to drive into the CAZ?

As you drive towards the south west of Portsmouth, you’ll start to see CAZ signs. The signs will have a symbol with the Letter B, showing the Clean Air Zone class.


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