Members of the public may be charged due to high air pollution on Tyneside

Pollution charges or a daily fee for using certain vehicles may be brought to drivers on Tyneside to improve air quality.

Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils have been following a legal order from the Government, urging them to improve air quality by 2021.

Figures show that levels of pollution on routes such as the A167 Central Motorway, the Tyne Bridge and a section of the A1058 Coast Road are above the legal limits and will remain the same if further measures are not taken.

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “We are currently consulting on a number of measures aimed at improving air quality in our area in response to a legal order from the government.

“These measures include potential charges for some drivers on certain routes but no decisions have been made at this stage.

“The consultation runs until 17 May 2019 and we would strongly encourage people to take part and have their say.”

Low air pollution causes around 40, 000 deaths in the UK every year, and the biggest culprit is traffic.

After months of negotiation, the councils have revealed two options they will consider to the members of the public.

These measures may include introducing Clean Air Zones in central Newcastle and Gateshead and on other key routes.

Another potential option is a toll for all drivers using the Tyne, Swing and Redheugh bridges.

Car and van drivers will face tolls of £1.70, while lorry and bus drivers will be paying the highest charges: £12.50 per day.

A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: “A public consultation is now open to all residents, businesses, workers, students and commuters from across the North East.

“As well as people’s views on potential measures for reducing harmful levels of pollution, we’d also like to hear people’s views on the kinds of financial support measures that might be needed to help people and businesses affected.

“This will help us develop final proposals that must be submitted to the government later this year.”

Students, residents and workers are entitled to take a part in a public consultation which runs from March 6 to May 17.

Have your say here.

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