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Sefton Council announces plans to explore a Sefton Clean Air Zone

Sefton Council has announced its plans to explore options for the implementation of a Sefton Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to help improve air quality for residents in the borough’s pollution hotspots.

Air quality across the majority of Sefton is of a good standard, but there are four areas in South Sefton that have been identified as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where air quality does not meet national standards.

Although the Council has undertaken significant work to improve air quality in these areas, there remains concern that the ongoing expansion of the port and associated port traffic may result in increased levels of air pollution in the AQMAs.

In a study commissioned by the Council, AECOM, a global environmental consultancy, concluded that a CAZ where vehicles pay a fee to use specified roads (charging CAZ) would be the most effective way to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions from road traffic.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “For some people who live in Sefton, air pollution is an important concern and the quality of the air we breathe is an issue that affects everyone. For this reason, last year I instructed a team of officers to explore all available options to address air pollution in Sefton.

“This work followed on from a number of significant actions that were already in place to improve air quality in the borough. However, we need to do everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of all our residents.

“AECOM’s report concludes that the only viable option left to make a significant difference to air quality in the areas most affected by traffic pollution is to implement a charging CAZ to cut pollution and encourage people to drive less polluting vehicles, including electric and low emission vehicles.

“Although we will explore a number of CAZ options, our current preferred option is a CAZ Type B. This option will not charge everyday commuters using private cars or vans but will be aimed at Class B vehicles like buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that do not meet required emissions standards.

“There will be an opportunity for residents and businesses to share their views on these plans further down the line and we will work closely with our key partners and stakeholders throughout the process to ensure that our plans continue to work towards the best interests of our communities.

“Our borough is clean, green and beautiful and we are determined to do all that we can to improve our air quality. That is why I’m bringing an item to Cabinet on Thursday, November 7 to allocate funds to fully explore the implementation of a charging Clean Air Zone in Sefton.”

For more information on Sefton’s CAZ, or to read the AECOM Report, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/CAZ