Diesel car ban to be considered by Bristol City Council

June 10 2019
Diesel car ban to be considered by Bristol City Council

ALL diesel cars could be banned from the middle of Bristol for eight hours each day under plans being considered by the city council.

The ban is one of two options to be discussed by the council’s ruling cabinet next week to allow the city to meet Government air quality improvement targets.

The other is a Clean Air Zone combining a scrappage scheme, new bus lane on the M32, a ban on diesels driving past the Bristol Royal Infirmary and charges for polluting buses, taxis, vans and lorries.

The council say the plan has been developed “to protect public health and reach compliant legal standards of harmful emissions from nitrogen dioxide, without negatively impacting transport options for people on lower incomes”.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “To successfully tackle serious and complex city challenges like poor air quality we must ensure environmental and social justice go hand in hand. We cannot and will not sacrifice our low income households by introducing widespread charges which will have a detrimental impact on them.

These latest proposals could strike the right balance by targeting the most polluting vehicles within specific classes of vehicle and by considering a dedicated area outside our central Bristol hospitals including the children’s hospital, where we want to protect those most vulnerable to pollution.

These options will allow us to meet Government air quality improvement targets, but we must and will do more to improve the air quality in our city for all citizens. I look forward to sharing a wider environmental plan soon, where we will commit to working in partnership with city partners for the benefit of all.”

The council describes the options, which will be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday next week, as follows:

Option 1 – Clean Air Zone: Local diesel scrappage scheme, improvements to buses and taxis to compliant standards, bus and local traffic interventions in the most polluting areas, incorporating a bus lane on the M32, a targeted diesel ban on the highway past the past the Bristol Royal Infirmary and a charging scheme for polluting buses, taxis, light goods and heavy goods vehicles. Private cars would not be charged.

Option 2 – Diesel car ban: All diesel cars are banned from entering a specific central area for an eight-hour period from 7am-3pm.

The council has not set out the exact area to be covered by the ban but will invite people to give their views in a six-week public consultation, starting on July 1.

It says both options would be accompanied by non-charging measures, such as bans on highly polluted routes for heavy goods vehicles and bus priority measures, alongside a city-wide scrappage scheme and improvements to buses and taxis to ensure they are all within compliant emission standards.