The petition says it aims to ‘ to save Blackpool, its residents and Businesses from the Clean Air Zone’, which it claims would ‘destroy small businesses’ and ‘marginalize the poorest of our society’
A petition has been launched opposing the concept of a clean air zone in Blackpool which would charge non-electric vehicle users to drive around the town.
The petition says it aims to ‘save Blackpool, its residents and businesses from the Clean Air Zone’, which it claims would ‘destroy small businesses’ and ‘marginalize the poorest of our society’.
The clean air zone formed part of a list of recommendations which were made to Blackpool Council by the resort’s first ever Climate Assembly, which was a group of 40 residents giving their views in 2021. The proposals said that Blackpool Council should implement an ultra-low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging vehicles that are not electric for access. The council has stated that currently ‘there is no proposed clean air zone and never has been’.
The petition says: “We have amazing air already and vehicles only produce 19% of our carbon footprint including council vehicles (such as Bin Trucks). Only 63% of families have vehicles. Despite Blackpool being classified as having good air, this climate plan looks to “incentivize” residents to use more public transport by penalizing those who don’t or can’t. This is a Stealth Tax for those who live, work and visit Blackpool.”
The list of recommendations, which was published in July 2021 says the council “should commit to public transport being the primary choice for getting around and into the town by 2022 by making it more accessible, frequent and less expensive.”
It adds: “Blackpool should implement an ultra low emissions zone in the town centre by 2027, charging cars that are not electric to enter the busiest area. An increase in the use of electric vehicles across the system should be encouraged. Businesses need to increase the charging points they provide to their staff and customers to make it as easy as possible for people to use an electric vehicle themselves.
“There should be reduced parking charge for electric vehicles in the town centre, and a fully electric bus fleet. Taxis companies should be supported and rewarded to switch to an electric fleet in the long term.”
Back in 2021, Coun Gary Coleman said creating an ultra-low emissions zone in Blackpool town centre could put tourists off visiting the resort.
Coun Coleman told a meeting of the tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee: “It’s a very difficult balancing act that we need. We don’t want to put people off by them thinking Blackpool’s got this charge now so I’m not going to go to Blackpool, I’m going to go to Morecambe or Skegness or wherever it might be.
“On the whole this is an excellent report, it’s just this side of things that concerns me a little.”
Blackpool Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019, committing it to work towards carbon neutrality across its services and companies by 2030, and across the town in a similar timescale.
- 05:30, 12 APR 2023
- UPDATED16:26, 12 APR 2023