Air across Bristol is ten percent cleaner, on average, after the first year of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
A new report, covering the first year of the CAZ, sets out how 88 percent of journeys into the zone are now made in compliant vehicles. The operational report will be considered by the Mayor of Bristol and the Cabinet at their public meeting on 23 January.
The Clean Air Zone launched on 28 November 2022, following a direction from national government to Bristol and other cities, to reduce nitrogen dioxide pollution in the shortest possible time.
In the foreword of the CAZ Cabinet report, Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, said:
Diffusion tubes, which monitor air quality at nearly 170 locations across Bristol, have been analysed in a laboratory. Data from these devices published today shows that the biggest improvements have been seen at:
- Bedminster Down Road: down 27% (site 418)
- Hotwell Road: down 26.5% (site 555)
- Park Row: down 27.5% (site 597)
- Upper Maudlin Street by the Bristol Royal Infirmary: down 27% (site 665)
- Merchants Road: down 24% (site 254)
This new report follows a technical interim report from the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) in November 2023, which showed that Bristol had passed the State 1 assessment.
JAQU’s State 2 Assessment report will follow in summer 2024. This will be their official assessment of the first year of the CAZ in Bristol. Their four stages for determining if a Local Authority is achieving success on clean air are as follows:
- State 1 – on track to achieve success
- State 2 – has achieved success
- State 3 – demonstrated to be maintaining success with measures
- State 4 – likely to continue maintaining success in the absence of measures
Success is defined by national government and means that the measures put in place, for example Bristol’s Clean Air Zone, are having the desired effect and air pollution will not exceed the annual average legal limit. Once stage four is achieved, the CAZ can be decommissioned.
This report is the first annual publication setting out all data related to the operation of the Clean Air Zone. It also includes figures showing that the proportion of drivers paying the Clean Air Zone Daily Charge on time has risen by around one-fifth, and shows that the number of Penalty Charge Notices needing to be issued for non-payment of the CAZ Daily Charge has fallen by around one-third since its peak. Over its first year, after accounting for operating costs, including to the Department for Transport, the CAZ generated just under £26.4 million.
Visit the council website for more information about the zone, including a vehicle checker and boundary map to help best plan your journeys: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/residents/streets-travel/bristols-caz
On Clean Air Day in June 2023, the Mayor announced that the council had secured a further £11 million to help support residents and businesses to upgrade their vehicles. He also confirmed that the eligibility threshold was being extended to cover everyone earning up to £30,000 per year. Financial support is still available for residents and businesses to upgrade vehicles and/or take up our active travel offers: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/residents/streets-travel/bristols-caz/get-free-active-travel-support