Plans have advanced for parts of Bristol city centre to have a “traffic clean air zone” in order to reduce toxic levels of air pollution.
The plan was brought about because the council was required by the government to bring down its nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels to within legal limits in 2017.
Known as a “clean air zone (CAZ) C” zone, the charging zone would cover parts of the city centre including Cotham, Montpellier, St Philips Marsh, Southville, Bedminster and Ashton Gate.
The zone will see the banning of diesel cars in parts of the city centre and a wider charging zone for all higher emission vehicles except private cars.
Buses, taxis and emergency service vehicles are excluded from the ban which would operate for eight hours a day, between 7am and 3pm, seven days a week.
The ban will impact anyone with a diesel car who lives in the area as the ban period is from 7am to 3pm daily.
Bristol City Council is considering concessions and exemptions for blue badge holders and businesses in the area. They are also looking to exempt low-income households in the ban zone whose only vehicle is a diesel car .
Vehicles that may receive an exemption include: school buses and coaches, emergency vehicles, NHS ambulances, community transport vehicles, disabled passenger vehicle tax class, specialist vehicles , historic vehicles, security services, diplomatic vehicles and military vehicles.
All diesel vehicles – except private cars – that do not comply with emission standards would be subject to a fine if they enter the zone.
Buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles would have to meet Euro VI emission standards to enter the zone without being charged.
Similarly, commercial vehicles and taxis that meet Euro 6 (diesel) or Euro 4 (petrol) emission standards would be exempt from any charges.
The diesel ban zone takes in Cumberland Basin to the west, Cabot Circus to the north east and Temple Quay and St Mary Redcliffe to the south west.
Its north western border faces the Bristol Royal Infirmary and the Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital and its south eastern boundary runs past Bristol Temple Meads railway station.
The council will be introducing measures to support businesses and residents affected by the plan. This will include provide cycling, walking pathways, bus and traffic management infrastructure schemes.
Bristol City Council is yet to reveal full details of its plans before the final business case is submitted to government, which is due to happen in February 2020.