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11. 01. 2019 11:01

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Bristol to become the first UK city to ban diesels

Bristol City Council has proposed a £113.5m plan that would see it become the first city in the UK to take the bold step of introducing a ban for all diesel cars in the city centre by March 2021.

It would operate alongside a charging zone for non-compliant commercial vehicles of £9 for taxis, private hire and vans, or £100 for trucks, buses and coaches.

A car scrappage scheme would also be launched.

Further measures for tackling air quality through improving and prioritising public transport options are also suggested, which support the Mayor of Bristol’s pledge to reduce the reliance on cars and increase the number of bus users.

Bristol clean air zone

Bristol City Council’s Cabinet’s meeting on 5 November is being asked to approve an Outline Business Case for an ambitious plan for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) that “will deliver the fastest possible improvement in air quality against targets for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) legal limits.”

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was declared in Bristol in 2001 because of breaches in the legal standards for levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It covers the central areas of the city and the main arterial routes.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionally affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.

“Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered. If approved, mitigation measures will support those most affected, especially those living in the most deprived communities.”

If the measure is approved, it will be submitted to the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) on 6 November. The council will then continue to work with the JAQU on preparing the Full Business Case for submission in February 2020.

As part of the Full Business Case, there will be direct engagement with all businesses and residents affected to help manage implementation, including details of mitigations measures and exemptions.

The cost for the implementation is expected to be £113.5m, including infrastructure upgrades.

More about the UK’s Clean Air Zones in our Knowledge Hub

The city’s Outline Business Case is here

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