VEHICLES travelling to and from the Isle of Wight could be adversely affected by Portsmouth's proposed Clean Air Zone, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said.

Mr Seely has written to Portsmouth City Council to raise concerns about the impact a Class B Clean Air Zone in the city may have on the IW.

Following ministerial direction to improve air quality, Portsmouth City Council is considering the introduction of the zone, which would apply to buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles.

In a letter to Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, Mr Seely said: “I support your efforts to meet these targets and improve air quality in Portsmouth.

"While I can fully understand the need to comply with the ministerial direction, and also to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels, I am concerned the introduction of a Class B Clean Air Zone would have a short to medium-term adverse impact on vehicles travelling to the IW.”

He is concerned that the Island’s smaller haulage firms, and coach companies visiting the Island, in particular, may not be able to undertake the scale of modernisation required in the short space of time between now and the introduction of the zone.

He has urged Portsmouth City Council to consider whether exemptions could be applied in respect of vehicles travelling to and from the IW, at least in the short to medium term.

Mr Seely said: “I am very happy to work with Portsmouth City Council to convince government of the need to take a flexible approach that has regard for the particular circumstances relating to Portsmouth’s role as a gateway to and from the Island, while also securing much-needed improvements to air quality in the local area."