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Bristol Clean Air Zone approved for summer 2022, nearly a year later than planned

Support for greener transport and exemptions have finally been announced, four years after the government ordered Bristol to tackle illegal levels of air pollution


Bristol will finally get its long-awaited Clean Air Zone next summer in attempt to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.

City mayor Marvin Rees has confirmed the scheme has received the backing of the government and will definitely be introduced in the summer of 2022. 

Designed to curb traffic air pollution, the Clean Air Zone will see older, more polluting vehicles – an estimated 75,000 a day – charged to enter a small zone in the city centre.

The council estimates that about three in 10 vehicles in Bristol will attract the charges, which were set at £9 for smaller vehicles and £100 a day for larger vehicles in the plans it submitted.

But the authority says it will help people switch to greener modes of transport using £42million of government funding to pay for a variety of initiatives, such as electric bike loans, free bus tickets and upgrades to cleaner vehicles.

A range of exemptions will also be available, including for people living inside the zone and those on lower incomes who need to travel into the city centre for work.

The news comes four years after the government ordered Bristol City Council to reduce the city’s toxic NO2 levels to within legal limits as quickly as possible. After numerous delays, the council submitted its final plans for a Clean Air Zone to central government in February this year. An earlier plan to ban diesel cars from the city centre was rejected by the government.

The Clean Air Zone, which was initially going to come into force in October 2021, is expected to bring air pollution levels down to legal levels in 2023. 

The city centre zone includes parts of Southville, Redcliffe, Hotwells, Spike Island and Old Market, as well as the Portway.

Which vehicles will be charged?

Polluting private cars, taxis and vans will be charged £9 a day to enter the zone, while polluting buses, coaches and lorries will be charged £100 a day, according to the plans submitted to the Government in February of this year.

These charges were not confirmed in a council press release announcing the news about the Clean Air Zone today (November 5), and neither was an exact date for the introduction of the scheme.

The charges will not apply to petrol vehicles that meet Euro 4, 5 and 6 emission standards (those dating from roughly 2006 onwards) or to Euro 6 diesel vehicles (those roughly the end of 2015 onwards).


A range of exemptions will be available to give eligible businesses and individuals time to prepare for the zone. 

All residents in the zone with a vehicle that would be charged can apply for an exemption giving them until the end of 2022 to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle.

Exemptions will be available for the groups including:

  • people on low incomes (earning up to £27,000 a year) who have to travel into the zone for work 
  • patients and visitors to hospitals in the zone
  • Blue Badge holders and people with a disabled tax class vehicle or disabled passenger tax class vehicle 
  • community transport providers operating under a Section 19 permit
  • people with commercial vehicles subject to finance agreements
  • council-funded buses, minibuses or coaches used as home-to-school vehicles
  • families who receive Personal Travel Budgets who travel through the zone on their school route.

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Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

  • Very polished article . However considering over 200000 vehicles use the A4 portway to A370 without entering bristol its interesting how the clean air zone covers this road on the outskirts but then £9 each will be very profitable to the council. Its all about revenue plain and simple


  • What criteria is a non polluting car ???


  • Typical modern socialism&communism
    Like socialist robin hood take money from people and give it to others!
    Let us live our way and leave us money alone!
    Your arguments are totally ridiculous and useless!


  • Tried to use the bus no 39 twice last week Monday and Friday waited 40 minutes each time it never turned up never again I will use the car instead so much for getting people to use public transport


  • why is the portway the swing Bridge.. Hotwell road..
    Brunel way.. the main route from the
    M5 to the Park and Ride (Long Ashton)
    the airport and WSM included in the CAZ plan..
    A major road that bypasses the city north west to the south…


  • As any government members considered tradesmen, many of us still drive around in Old reliable diesel vans, as a carpenter and joiner my own vehicle on a 2009 and plate is full of equipment, without it I could not earn a living, my van is brought and paid for, and did not consider of taking out anymore loans to pay for a new van at my age, so what category would I come under, or is there a grant which I can apply for.


  • This is horrible to put stupid laws in place. One should not be forced to take out loans . This is profitable to car industry and that is it . Leave this stupid lesgislation a side and let drivers live free, drive free. There was clean diesel first , now its against diesel .Council are allowed to make money off commoners. This is total bullshit . I am not happy to pay even a dime for this , there is more pollution to produce a car , do destroy /recycle a car . 100000 OF cars are been reuined




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