Have your say on diesel traffic bans for Bristol
People are being urged to have their say on plans to cut pollution from diesel vehicles before the consultation closes this month.
The city council is holding a consultation on ways to cut pollution from traffic, including possible bans on diesel cars in some areas of the city during peak hours.
The council is asking for people's comments on two options: a clean air zone in a wide area around the city centre, starting from Easton, and a diesel car ban in a smaller area.
In the map, below, the darker area with the purple border would be affected by the diesel car ban, while the larger, lighter area with the pink boundary would be affected by the clean air zone.
The clean air zone includes a local diesel scrappage scheme, improvements to buses and taxis,a bus lane on the M32, a diesel ban on the road past the Bristol Royal Infirmary and a charging scheme for polluting buses, taxis, vans and lorries in an area covering central Bristol: approaching from Fishponds, it would start by Stapleton Road Station. Private cars would not be charged. All diesel traffic would be banned from one of the busiest and most polluted routes in the city, from Park Row to Marlborough Street past the BRI, from 7am to 3pm every day.
The ban option would see all diesel cars prohibited from entering a specific central area for an eight-hour period from 7am-3pm each day. The area covered would be around Broadmead, Temple Meads, Redcliffe, the Centre and Harbourside, starting at Coronation Road to the south and including Temple Way, Bond Street, Marlborough Street, Anchor Road and Hotwell Road, going all the way to the Plimsoll Bridge.
Both options would be accompanied by non-charging measures, such as bans on lorries on highly polluted routes and bus priority measures.
City councillors have called for a “sliding scale” of fines proposed for drivers of older, more polluting vehicles, calling current plans “inequitable” and “wrong”.
Liberal Democrat group leader Gary Hopkins told a scrutiny meeting on the plans: “We have people who have vehicles which are just beyond the level, and we have others that are massively non-compliant.
“We’re going to be charging them exactly the same amount of money and that to my mind does not seem logical.
“Surely we need to make the really bad polluter pay, but there’s nothing in these proposals that aims to do that.”
Conservative councillor Geoff Gollop said charging all diesel car drivers the same seemed “very inequitable”.
He said: “Someone who’s possibly spent a lot of money on buying the cleanest and least polluting diesel car available is being penalised as much as someone who has something that has been around for many years, and that seems to me to be wrong - I feel uncomfortable with that.”
Officials told the councillors that automatic number plate recognition cameras could be used to create “sliding scale” charges or fines for diesel emissions, depending on how polluting a vehicle was.
The consultation is open until August 12 and people can have their say by visiting bristol.gov.uk/trafficcleanairzone online or calling 0117 352 1397.
A drop-in session for anyone wanting to look at the plans and discuss them with council staff is being held at City Hall on August 6 from 2.30-6.30pm.