Labour-run Bristol City Council has approved an ambitious plan for a Clean Air Zone in the city which will deliver the fastest possible improvement in air quality against targets for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) legal limits.
The plan recommends Bristol becomes the first city in the UK to take the bold step of introducing a small area diesel ban for all privately owned vehicles alongside a charging zone for non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis, HGVs and LGVs. A car scrappage scheme would also be launched.
Further measures for tackling air quality through improving and prioritising public transport options are also suggested, which support the Mayor of Bristol’s pledge to reduce the reliance on cars and increase the number of bus users.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionally affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.
“Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered. If approved, mitigation measures will support those most affected, especially those living in the most deprived communities.”
Rigorous technical analysis of a number of options has taken place alongside a city-wide public consultation. These have informed an Outline Business Case which was presented at the council cabinet meeting on Tuesday 5th November 2019.
The council is now preparing the Full Business Case for submission next year. As part of the Full Business Case, there will be direct engagement with all businesses and residents affected to help manage implementation, including details of mitigations measures and exemptions. The deadline for the implementation of the plans is March 2021.