Campaigners propose car-free Sunday for Southampton

By Jack Evans
Clean air campaigners want the scheme to start in September

Campaigners have put forward plans for a once-a-month car-free day in Southampton in an attempt to help decrease pollution.

Clean Air Southampton and Southampton Friends of the Earth have proposed the scheme as part of a new clean air manifesto.

According to the BBC, the policy is being considered by authority bosses.

It would follow in the steps of other car-free city schemes, including Paris – which has pledged to ban all non-electric cars by 2030, and Brussels, which has also committed to a process of reducing the number of cars on the road in the city centre.

Liz Batten, from Clean Air Southampton, said: “Last year Southampton City Council ran a consultation on the proposed Clean Air Zone. They had the biggest response to any consultation ever – nearly 10,000 people responded, most of whom said they were worried about air pollution in the city.

“We at Clean Air Southampton decided to look at putting a Clean Air Manifesto together to ask candidates in the local elections to sign up to a list of measurable actions which would be achievable in their four-year term of office.

“So far the Lib Dems and the Green Party have agreed to sign the Manifesto. The Conservatives and Labour Party have declined.”

The manifesto also includes proposals for low-cost park and ride schemes using existing bus services, as well as imposing a minimum Euro 5 standard for all delivery vehicles being used in the city centre.

Southampton was named as a city at the limit for levels of fine-particle pollution last May, and in response a non-charging clean air zone is being introduced.

It comes alongside Birmingham, Derby and Leeds as cities set to introduce clean air zones.