Clean Air Zone – March 2021 update: the Cabinet decision

Click for larger image.

The Cabinet meeting in late February 2021 confirmed that a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will be introduced from October 2021 as follows:

  • covering the area within the inner loop road
  • affecting pre-2016 diesel and pre-2005 petrol vehicles (about 25 to 30% of vehicles)
  • charging older cars £9 per day
  • exemptions (initially for 1 year only) for disabled drivers, in-zone residents, low-income city centre workers, hospital visitors
  • enforced by cameras
  • in place until roadside NOx levels get below legal limits – projected by end 2023.

See map Small CAZ D – Download PDF (2.7mb).

This is subject to approval by government (the Joint Air Quality Unit – JAQU).

The three biggest controversies are:

  • displacement of traffic through inner suburbs. In defence, the Council argues that the acceleration of changes to cleaner cars due to the CAZ will benefit inner suburbs, that the modelled displacement of air pollution is less significant than one might think, and that they will introduce Liveable Neighbourhoods to mitigate the impact.
  • access to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. As explained above, visitors will be exempted from the charge, al least for the first year of the scheme. The Council continues to discuss with the BRI other measures, including access by bus.
  • Inclusion of the Portway in the CAZ zone. We are told that JAQU are convinced that the Portway needs to be included so that compliance at city centre hotspots is achieved.

More information: Council clean air website and Cabinet papers (see agenda item 16).

Alan Morris

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