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Have your say: last chance to complete the Tyneside clean air consultation

Toll charges could come into effect in Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Time is running out for people to have their say on proposals for tackling pollution on Tyneside. More than 11,000 people have already responded to the air quality consultation provided by Newcastle City Council.

Possible plans include Clean Air Zones that ban certain vehicles from entering the city centre and toll charges for all vehicles across Newcastle bridges.

You only have until midnight on Friday 17th May 2019 to offer your views. Below is a link to the questionnaire:

What is a low emission zone?

Under a Low Emission Zone, certain vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards would be banned from entering or moving within the proposed area.

Banned vehicles which enter the Low Emission Zone would be fined.

What is a clean air zone?

The government told the council to address pollution levels on the Coast Road and the Central Motorway.

But introducing measures on those individual stretches of road risks moving traffic – and pollution – onto neighbouring streets and residential areas.

The report suggests a CAZ needs to cover the right area to consider the impact of re-routing traffic.

Map of possible Clean Air Zone Newcastle Credit: Breathe Clean Air

What vehicles would be banned?

Only vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards would be charged.

How much would charges be in the Clean Air Zone?

  • Heavy goods vehicles - £50 per day
  • Buses - £50 per day
  • Coaches - £50 per day
  • Taxis / private hire vehicles - £12.50 per day
  • Vans - £12.50 per day
  • Private cars - £12.50 per day
Vehicles affected by the Low Emission Zone Credit: Breathe Clean Air

Would there be toll charges?

As well as looking at Clean Air Zones, the consultation also references possible tolls.

These would be implemented on the Tyne, Redheugh and Swing Bridges.

Tolls would apply to cars, vans and lorries. Buses, taxis and low-emission vehicles would not have to pay. Mopeds and motorcycles are excluded from toll plans at the moment.

How much would toll charges be?

Although no final decisions have been made, the charges suggested in the consultation report are:

  • Heavy goods vehicles: £3.40 per journey
  • Vans: £1.70 per journey
  • Cars: £1.70 per journey

What other restrictions will there be?

It's possible that there would be restrictions on HGV travel on the Central Motorway. This would involve banning lorries between the Tyne Bridge and the Coast Road between peak times.

What happens next?

After the consultation closes, the results will be assessed and announced in July 2019. Feedback will be prepared for Government approval in the Autumn. If approved, January 2021.

For more information, visit: https://www.breathe-cleanair.com/

Tyneside told to 'clear up' air pollution Credit: ITV News