A small Class D Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is set to be introduced in Bristol city centre by the end of October under plans that will go for approval by Bristol City Council (BCC) on 25 February.
The development follows the completion of modelling work that has demonstrated that Bristol requires a CAZ to comply with air quality requirements. If the full business case for the CAZ is approved by BCC’s Cabinet, it will be submitted to the Joint Air Quality Unit the following day.
Under the proposals, coaches and buses that do not meet Euro VI emissions standards will pay a daily charge of £100. The Class D CAZ will also capture private cars. When non-compliant, they will incur a daily charge of £9.
In August 2020 BCC floated the idea that behavioural change since the onset of COVID-19 may mitigate the need for a CAZ, as has proven to be the case in Leeds. However. Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said on 17 February that modelling undertaken since last summer has shown that a CAZ is required, although the chosen option now is the smaller of two that were initially proposed.
“Our preferred approach was to see if we could get to compliance in the shortest possible time without charging. Modelling shows us that is now not actually the case,” says Mr Rees. Some traffic restrictions will be introduced as part of the Bristol Clean Air Zone and BCC will carry out work to encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking.