Derbyshire town with country's worst pollution hotspot could get England's smallest clean air zone

  • ITV News Central reporter Peter Bearne heads to Ashbourne to speak to those for and against "England's smallest clean air zone"

England's smallest clean air charging zone could be brought in to help a Derbyshire town, with the county's worst pollution hotspot.

At a Derbyshire Dales District Council meeting last night (February 9) councillors from all parties approved a plan backing a clean air charging zone for Ashbourne town centre.

On Buxton road in Ashbourne, nitrogen dioxide has been recorded at 50 per cent higher than the acceptable legal level.

What would a clean air zone in Ashbourne mean?

  • Vehicles with higher levels of emissions would be made to pay to drive through Ashbourne town centre.

  • Cllr David Hughes, who put forward the clean air zone plan, said the scheme would target HGVs, which he describes as the source of 'the majority of Ashbourne's pollution issues'.

  • The scheme would charge diesel commercial vehicles and taxis that are not Euro 6 compliant (the latest restrictions for cleaner vehicles, emitting lower levels of nitrogen dioxide).

  • There would be an exemption for registered keepers within the Ashbourne civil parish.

Cllr Peter O'Brien said that the Euro 6 restrictions reduced emissions by 50 per cent.

There are currently six clean air charging zones in England including in Birmingham.

A potential clean air zone for Ashbourne would be the smallest in the country if it makes it through the extensive public and Government approval processes.