How Bristol’s Clean Air Zone will work and what drivers could be charged for using it

In just three months, Bristol will become the latest city to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in an effort to curb air pollution in its centre. The CAZ will come into force on November 28.

The measures have been brought in to make Bristol “a healthier place for everyone”, Bristol City Council states. This means that older or more polluting vehicles will be charged to travel within the CAZ in the centre of the city.

Around one quarter of Bristol’s vehicle owners are expected to be affected by the change. However, Bristol’s residents and business owners are being urged to apply for the financial support offered by Bristol City Council.

Read More: Bristol Clean Air Zone: Council workers door-knocking to prepare for start date

The council has secured a £42million package of Government funding to help the city’s businesses and most deprived households to replace their vehicles with less polluting alternatives. Around £1.8 million of that is earmarked for loans and grants of up to £2,000 to help people who need to change their car, the council’s website says.

An additional £5.9 million will be spent “to help people switch to public transport” by offering free electric bike loans, cycle training, and free bus tickets. While the remaining £32 million will go to helping businesses upgrade their fleets – HGVs, LGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles so that they meet the new standards.

You can register your interest for the council’s financial support here. The scheme has attracted “very high levels of interest”, the council’s website states.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said in a statement: “We are committed to reducing air pollution and making Bristol a healthier place for everyone, this includes increasing the use of sustainable transport in our city. Our free travel offers are a great opportunity for people in Bristol to try out new ways of travelling that are better for their health, wellbeing, and the environment too. Anyone who lives or works in Bristol is eligible to receive these offers and can apply on our website now.”

Will cars be banned from Bristol city centre?

No, the CAZ won’t ban any type of car or vehicle from entering the city centre. However, the new rules will see older and more polluting vehicles charged to enter the CAZ. A map of Bristol’s new CAZ can be found here.

Which vehicles will be charged to enter Bristol’s Clean Air Zone?

Charges are not expected to apply to Euro 4, 5 and 6 petrol vehicles from approximately 2006 onwards, or Euro 6 diesel vehicles from the end of 2015 onwards, Clean Air For Bristol reports. Check if your vehicle meets the standards required for free entry into the CAZ by using the council’s official CAZ charges and vehicle checker.

How much will I be charged to enter Bristol’s Clean Air Zone?

If your vehicle doesn’t meet the CAZ standards, it will be subject to these daily charges. The charges will be enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Private petrol cars – £9 a day

  • Private diesel cars – £9 a day

  • Taxis – £9 a day

  • Light Goods Vehicle (under 3.5t.) – £9 a day

  • Heavy Goods Vehicle (over 3.5t.) – £100 a day

  • Buses – £100 a day

  • Coaches – £100 a day

Residents who live within the zone will be charged for journeys they make within the zone if their vehicles don’t meet the zone’s emission standards. The council is offering temporary exemptions to some to give them more time to change their vehicle.

Those who can apply for an exemption include residents in the zone, people working within the zone and earning less than £27,000 a year, Blue Badge holders, and patients attending hospitals in the zone. Applications will be open from “late September”, the council website states.

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