Bristol city council is preparing a bid to the government’s £220 million Clean Air Fund to pay for measures to tackle air pollution in the city – which could include the implementation of a Clean Air Zone.
According to the council, measures will focus on mitigating the impact of the measures on low income groups and small and medium sized businesses.
The authority is also preparing to carry out a ‘significant public engagement and consultation’ ahead of the development of the proposals.
Councillors will discuss the proposals at a meeting tomorrow (26 July). A report published ahead of the meeting suggest that the council could apply for up to £15 million in funding.
In the report, council officers note: “It is not clear from conversations with the Joint Air Quality Unit what share of funding Bristol could expect from the total funding available but an initial range of between £4 and £15m is anticipated.
“Bristol city council will be in competition with other local authorities for a share of this funding and the proposal will form part of the business case for the broader Clean Air Plan. The timescales for the fund are challenging with schemes required to be delivered in advance of the Clean Air Plan.
“Infrastructure schemes and ‘soft measures’ have been longlisted for inclusion in Bristol’s bid to the Clean Air Fund and their suitability for funding will require ongoing liaison with the Joint Air Quality Unit and formal approval through Bristol’s Cabinet process.â€?
Proposals for a Clean Air Zone are currently being prepared that could see the council charging drivers of some of the most polluting cars, light and heavy vehicles to drive within parts of the city.
A total of five potential options were outlined at a meeting in March, which are currently being assessed by the council, which are estimated to achieve compliance with NO2 limit values in 2023 (see airqualitynews.com story).
This includes a series of options based around either a small or medium-sized ‘Class C’ or ‘Class D’ charging clean air zone in the centre of the city, which could levy a charge for the use of buses and coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles, heavy and lights goods vehicles, and potentially also private cars.
Bristol is one of 23 authority’s named within the government’s July 2017 Air Quality Plan to bring forward options to reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions in line with EU air quality targets within the soonest timeframe possible.