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Final air quality consultation under way

clean air final proposals

A six-week consultation is taking place on a package of measures to improve air quality as well as proposals for supporting people and businesses that would be affected.

Councils believe that new proposals, when implemented together as a single package, will achieve the rapid improvement in air quality that is required under a government legal direction, while also addressing concerns people and businesses raised during the initial stage of consultation earlier this year.

The final proposals include:

  • Grants for people and businesses affected by a Clean Air Zone charge to help them upgrade their vehicles.
  • A sunset or grace period where some vehicles wouldn't be charged straight away as well as some exemptions for vehicles that wouldn't be charged at all.
  • A charging Clean Air Zone focused on Newcastle city centre, affecting non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis (Hackney Carriages and private hire vehicles), heavy goods vehicles and vans, to be enforced from 2021.
  • Changes to the road layout on the Central Motorway to prevent traffic from merging on and off the slip road between the New Bridge Street and Swan House junctions.
  • Lane restrictions on the Tyne Bridge and its approaches, including on the Central Motorway. This will be done as part of measures to improve air quality but councils are also asking government for £40m funding to enable essential maintenance works to be carried out at the same time to minimise the need for further disruption.
  • Changes to the local roads network in Newcastle and Gateshead to reflect the Tyne Bridge changes and ensure public transport can run reliably.
  • New delivery hubs for goods vehicles outside of the charging zone, from where last-mile deliveries can be made by electric vehicle or cargo bike.
  • Ambitious funding bids to the Transforming Cities Fund and Clean Air Fund for investment in public transport, walking and cycling routes.
  • A major communications campaign to ensure people are aware of the measures, including the support that will be offered, and to encourage people to change their travel behaviour, switching to public transport, walking or cycling where it is possible for them to do so.

View full details and questionnaire

The final clean air zone proposals take into account new modelling and predictions on what type of vehicles will be on the roads in future, as well as public feedback from the initial consultation earlier this year.

Changes have been made to the plans that will help to address concerns raised by the public and local businesses, while still ensuring air quality targets are met in the shortest possible time.

Among the key consultation issues, which the new proposals help to address, were concerns about the potential impact on business and the local economy as well as the effect on those with lower incomes and those without access to public transport, including shift workers.

One of the most significant changes to the clean air zone proposals is the decision not to charge private cars initially.

Cllr Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said:

"At this stage we do not intend to introduce charges for private cars because we recognise that there needs to be more investment in alternatives, including public transport, walking and cycling routes, and this is part of our proposals.

"However, we may need to reconsider charges for private cars in the future as part of our ongoing commitment to improving our air quality, tackling climate change and improving people's health.

"This would be subject to further consultation at that time."

Another major change to the proposals is the area covered by the clean air zone, which is now much smaller and focused on Newcastle city centre.

Residential areas, including Jesmond, Sandyford and Gosforth, the Royal Victoria Infirmary and parts of Gateshead and the Coast Road are no longer included in the charging zone.

However, these and other surrounding areas are still expected to benefit from cleaner air due to there being a higher number of cleaner vehicles on the roads and more people using public transport.

Consultation on the final proposals will run until midday on Monday 25 November

clean air final proposals
15 October 2019

A six-week consultation is taking place on a package of measures to improve air quality as well as proposals for supporting people and businesses that would be affected.

Councils believe that new proposals, when implemented together as a single package, will achieve the rapid improvement in air quality that is required under a government legal direction, while also addressing concerns people and businesses raised during the initial stage of consultation earlier this year.

The final proposals include:

  • Grants for people and businesses affected by a Clean Air Zone charge to help them upgrade their vehicles.
  • A sunset or grace period where some vehicles wouldn't be charged straight away as well as some exemptions for vehicles that wouldn't be charged at all.
  • A charging Clean Air Zone focused on Newcastle city centre, affecting non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis (Hackney Carriages and private hire vehicles), heavy goods vehicles and vans, to be enforced from 2021.
  • Changes to the road layout on the Central Motorway to prevent traffic from merging on and off the slip road between the New Bridge Street and Swan House junctions.
  • Lane restrictions on the Tyne Bridge and its approaches, including on the Central Motorway. This will be done as part of measures to improve air quality but councils are also asking government for £40m funding to enable essential maintenance works to be carried out at the same time to minimise the need for further disruption.
  • Changes to the local roads network in Newcastle and Gateshead to reflect the Tyne Bridge changes and ensure public transport can run reliably.
  • New delivery hubs for goods vehicles outside of the charging zone, from where last-mile deliveries can be made by electric vehicle or cargo bike.
  • Ambitious funding bids to the Transforming Cities Fund and Clean Air Fund for investment in public transport, walking and cycling routes.
  • A major communications campaign to ensure people are aware of the measures, including the support that will be offered, and to encourage people to change their travel behaviour, switching to public transport, walking or cycling where it is possible for them to do so.

View full details and questionnaire

The final clean air zone proposals take into account new modelling and predictions on what type of vehicles will be on the roads in future, as well as public feedback from the initial consultation earlier this year.

Changes have been made to the plans that will help to address concerns raised by the public and local businesses, while still ensuring air quality targets are met in the shortest possible time.

Among the key consultation issues, which the new proposals help to address, were concerns about the potential impact on business and the local economy as well as the effect on those with lower incomes and those without access to public transport, including shift workers.

One of the most significant changes to the clean air zone proposals is the decision not to charge private cars initially.

Cllr Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said:

"At this stage we do not intend to introduce charges for private cars because we recognise that there needs to be more investment in alternatives, including public transport, walking and cycling routes, and this is part of our proposals.

"However, we may need to reconsider charges for private cars in the future as part of our ongoing commitment to improving our air quality, tackling climate change and improving people's health.

"This would be subject to further consultation at that time."

Another major change to the proposals is the area covered by the clean air zone, which is now much smaller and focused on Newcastle city centre.

Residential areas, including Jesmond, Sandyford and Gosforth, the Royal Victoria Infirmary and parts of Gateshead and the Coast Road are no longer included in the charging zone.

However, these and other surrounding areas are still expected to benefit from cleaner air due to there being a higher number of cleaner vehicles on the roads and more people using public transport.

Consultation on the final proposals will run until midday on Monday 25 November

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