Two options which will allow Bristol to meet Government-set targets for air quality improvement will be presented to Cabinet next week.
The Traffic Clean Air Zone plan has been developed in order to protect public health and reach compliant legal standards of harmful emissions from nitrogen dioxide, without negatively impacting transport options for people on lower incomes.
To achieve this, Bristol City Council is proposing:
• Option 1, Clean Air Zone (private cars not charged) – this includes a local scrappage scheme, improvements to buses and taxis to compliant standards, bus and local traffic interventions in the most polluting areas, incorporating a bus lane on the M32, a targeted diesel ban on the highway past the Bristol Royal Infirmary and a charging scheme for polluting buses, taxis, light goods and heavy goods vehicles
• Option 2, Diesel car ban – all diesel cars are banned from entering a specific central area for an eight-hour period (from 7am-3pm).
To successfully tackle serious and complex city challenges like poor air quality we must ensure environmental and social justice go hand in hand. We cannot and will not sacrifice our low income households by introducing widespread charges which will have a detrimental impact on them.
These latest proposals could strike the right balance by targeting the most polluting vehicles within specific classes of vehicle and by considering a dedicated area outside our central Bristol hospitals including the children’s hospital, where we want to protect those most vulnerable to pollution.
These options will allow us to meet Government air quality improvement targets, but we must and will do more to improve the air quality in our city for all citizens. I look forward to sharing a wider environmental plan soon, where we will commit to working in partnership with city partners for the benefit of all.Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
Both options would be accompanied by a package of non-charging measures, such as bans on highly polluted routes for heavy goods vehicles and bus priority measures, alongside a city-wide scrappage scheme and improvements to buses and taxis to ensure they are all within compliant emission standards.
The public will be able to give their views on the two options as part of a six-week public consultation launching on 1 July.
For more information, go to the Cabinet papers on the council website, which are due to be considered next Tuesday.