Bristol City Council has agreed its final proposals for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ). This is a health intervention to help tackle the problem of air pollution in the city.
Yesterday the council’s Cabinet approved the Full Business Case for the CAZ which will now be submitted to Government.
The CAZ is due to be implemented from October 2021. The council have chosen a ‘Small CAZ D’ which covers a small area of central Bristol because it offers a balance between the most effective impact to change behaviours and improve air quality and the need to support businesses as much as possible.
The Small CAZ D is estimated to deliver compliance with legal limits for air pollution by 2023, much sooner than previous CAZ proposals.
No vehicles are banned from entering the CAZ but older and more polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge (£9 for private cars) for travelling within the zone. Petrol vehicles newer than 2005 and diesel vehicles newer than 2014 are mostly exempt. It is estimated over 71% of vehicles are already compliant and so only a minority of vehicles driving in the CAZ will be charged and in subsequent years this percentage will decrease as more people take advantage of the available financial support to switch to a cleaner vehicle or a different mode of transport.
The Full Business Case details the mitigations and exemptions that the council have proposed to support those most likely to be impacted by the proposals. Individuals earning less than £24,000 a year and no more than £12.45 per hour will be able to apply for a one year’s exemption and there will also be exemptions for hospital visitors. The proposed exemptions are to allow time for people to take advantage of financial support to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.