Bristol City Council has today (July 1) launched a public consultation on two options to reduce air pollution in the city.
In 2017, Bristol was one of the 23 local authorities ordered by government to bring forward plans to reduce illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions in line with EU air quality targets ‘in the shortest possible time’.
However, they are well behind other authorities such as Birmingham and Leeds who formalised their plans and secured funding from government in 2018.
In March, Defra minister Therese Coffey publicly threatened Bristol City Council with legal action unless a plan was quickly delivered.
Environmental lawyers at ClientEarth are also closely watching and recently slammed ministers for letting deadlines pass unpunished, calling the situation a ‘moral failure’ from politicians at all levels.
The first option is a Clean Air Zone, which would see polluting buses, coaches, and HGVs charged £100 a day to enter the zone. Taxis and light goods vehicles (LGVs) would be charged £9 per day and private cars would not be charged.
This option also includes weight restrictions for HGVs on the most polluted routes and a diesel car ban on Upper Maudlin Street and Park Row running from St James Barton roundabout to Park Street between 7am and 3pm, seven days a week.
They say they will offer diesel drivers £2000 as part of a scrappage scheme to give up their vehicle.
The second option being considered is a ban on all diesel cars driving within a small central area from 7am to 3am. This would not apply to taxis or private hire vehicles.
AirQualityNews interviewed Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees last month about his leadership on air quality which you can read here.
He maintained that the delays to a clean air plan have been necessary because the council’s own modelling indicated a charging Clean Air Zone would have an adverse impact on some of the city’s poorest communities.
Drop in sessions where the public the opportunity can discuss the options in more detail will be held at the following places:
Barton Hill Settlement
43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, BS5 0AX
Thursday 11 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm
Easton Leisure Centre
Thrissell St, Easton, BS5 0SW
Monday 15 July, 3.30pm-7.30pm
Hope Chapel Hill, Hotwells, BS8 4ND
Monday 22 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm
Marksbury Road Library
Marksbury Road, Bedminster, BS3 5LG
Wednesday 24 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm
Malcolm X Community Centre
141 City Road, St Pauls, BS2 8YH
Tuesday 30 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm
City Hall (Vestibule)
Just off Park Street towards main entrance
Tuesday 6 August, 2.30pm-6.30pm