Petrol and diesel drivers face daily charges with new Clean Air Zone

PMQs: PM says Clean Air Zone is ‘unworkable’

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Bristol will see its Clean Air Zone launch on Monday, November 28, with the council looking to slash emissions in the city. Even those who are simply driving through the city face a charge if their vehicle is not compliant with the emissions rules.

Private petrol and diesel cars will face a daily charge of £9 for driving inside the area.

The £9 charge will also apply to taxis and LGVs under 3.5 tonnes.

Some motorists, namely HGV, bus and coach drivers, will face a daily charge of £100.

Charges will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week and non-compliant vehicles would only be charged once in each 24-hour period.

If someone lives within the zone and drives a non-compliant vehicle, they will only be charged if they make a journey.

Over 71 percent of vehicles travelling into Bristol are already meeting the zone’s emissions standards.

Some motorists are being warned that older and more polluting vehicles will be charged.

As a guide, charges will not apply to Euro 4, 5 and 6 petrol vehicles, which are those manufactured from 2006 onwards.

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For diesel vehicles, Euro 6 is the benchmark, with vehicles made after 2015 escaping charges.

Fully electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will not face charges, with motorbikes also avoiding daily fees.

Grants and loans are on offer to help people switch to cleaner vehicle or less polluting forms of transport.

The Clean Air Zone will also involve changes to traffic signal timings to improve traffic flows.

There will also be increased priority for buses, such as bus lanes and priority at traffic signals.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, announced the temporary exemptions in a blog post last week.

He said: “This is an important step on our journey to cleaner air and creating a healthier future for everyone in Bristol. 

“We need to reduce harmful pollution in the city and reach the legal limits set by Government in the shortest time possible, but we also want to give those who need it, a bit more time to prepare. 

“That could mean upgrading or changing a vehicle or trying out different and more sustainable ways to travel instead.

“I know that the launch date is fast approaching, but I also want everyone to know that there’s still plenty of time to prepare and seek out extra support if you need it.”

Bristol City Council has secured £5.9million to invest in sustainable travel solutions including bicycle and e-bike trials, adult cycle training, scooter rental credits, bus tickets, train vouchers, car club credits and free travel planning sessions.

Over 2,000 active travel offers have already been given out to people in Bristol.

Clean Air Zones are now becoming more common in the UK, with Bristol following in the footsteps of Bath, Birmingham, Portsmouth and a host of other cities.

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