RESIDENTS’ views about Southampton’s Clean Air Zone will be published today after one of the biggest public consultation responses in the city’s history.

With opinions divided on which way the authority should go, 9,309 locals took part to give their thoughts on the zone.

As part of the consultation, responders were asked what sort of measures should be taken, which included the upper-end suggestion of implementing a commercially-chargeable clean air zone, which would bill the highest polluting vehicles – including lorries, coaches, and buses – when they entered the city.

Nevertheless, this could be the road the council goes down, as it attempts to drop its nitrogen dioxide “within the shortest possible time”, under both government and European directives, after being named as one of the worst-polluting cities in the country.

However, civic chiefs continue to reiterate that no final decision on how they will proceed has been made, and have promised to take all views into account before making one.

And at 1pm today, these views will be published by the authority, which may indicate which type of zone residents want to see.

City council green city member, Cllr Steve Leggett (pictured), said: “The scale of the public reaction to the consultation confirms that people living, working and visiting Southampton share our commitment to improving the quality of air.

“The feedback provides us with a clear understanding of what people think is important – including the impact on public health, transport and the economy. Combined with further technical analysis, public feedback will play a key role in informing our plan.”

The “unprecedented” amount of responses also means that final plans will not be sent to Westminster until the end of January, having previously been earmarked to be posted this year.

New Forest District Council, which Southampton is working with as part of the plans, will send its report to government on December 31.

Both authorities will debate their plans before they are sent.

The district council will make a final decision at Cabinet on December 18.

Southampton will hold a special Cabinet meeting on January 22, which will be held in the Guildhall.