Buses, taxis, and heavy goods vehicles could be charged to drive through part of Merseyside in a bid to reduce air pollution.

Sefton Council wants to create a clean air zone in four areas to target “non-emission compliant vehicles”.

An air quality study found parts of the borough had nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels at potentially harmful levels.

Sefton Council leader Ian Maher said the authority must “do something to address issues of clean air”.

A council spokesman said the authority was “committed” to cutting pollution.

Road traffic is responsible for the majority of NO2 in the air, with diesel-powered vehicles being the largest contributor.

Mr Maher told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that an authority report found charging the non-compliant commercial vehicles would have the “most significant impact” on air quality.

He said private vehicles would not have to pay the as-yet-unspecified charge.

The report proposed bringing in a clean air zone around Bootle’s Millers Bridge and Hawthorne Road, South Road in Waterloo and Princess Way in Litherland.

One haulage company owner, who asked not to be named, said charging on Millers Bridge was “not a good idea” because it is a major shipping route to Ireland.

The estimated £530,000 cost to develop and implement any such zone would be met by the council.

The plan will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.