There’s only two months to go until Bristol’s Clean Air Zone launches on 28 November.
This is an important step on our journey to cleaner air and creating a healthier future for everyone in Bristol. We need to reduce harmful pollution in the city and reach the legal limits set by government in the shortest time possible, but we also want to give those who need it, a bit more time to prepare. That could mean upgrading or changing a vehicle or trying out different and more sustainable ways to travel instead.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that today the online application portal for temporary exemptions is open.
It’s estimated that over 71% of vehicles on our roads are already compliant, so many of you will NOT need to make an application for a temporary exemption. Anyone who is still unsure if they will be affected should visit the government’s online vehicle checker in the first instance, to check if they will be charged to drive in the zone.
If you find your vehicle doesn’t meet the emissions standards, then you may be able to apply for a temporary exemption if:
- you live within the Clean Air Zone
- you work within the Zone and earn less than £26,000 per year
- you meet one of the exemption criteria
- and you need some extra time to replace or upgrade your vehicle
All the information, including the full list of exemption criteria, is available on the council’s website. These exemptions are being offered on a temporary basis, to give people a bit more time to prepare for the Clean Air Zone. I urge people to check the individual exemption pages on our website for information on when they end. If you need further support or have questions about your individual circumstance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you run a business that operates more than one vehicle and are planning ahead to the launch of the Clean Air Zone, you might also want to check out the Business Accounts Feature which is now open. This allows you to set up a Bristol-specific Direct Debit to help you manage payment for vehicles entering and exiting the Zone. For more information, visit the Government website.
As well as offering temporary exemptions to give people more time to transition to cleaner vehicles, we have also secured over £5.9 million to help people to make their journeys more sustainable. Active travel not only helps to keep our air clean, but it can also help us to feel good and improve our mental wellbeing.
Our free active travel offer scheme offers people:
- bike and e-bike trials for up to one month
- adult cycle training to help build your confidence
- VOI eScooter credit
- train vouchers
- taster bus tickets
- enterprise car club credit
- a free travel planning session to help you explore all your options for your regular journeys
We’ve already given out over 2,000 active travel offers to people in Bristol, and you can read about people’s experiences on our Clean Air For Bristol blog. It’s really great to see people already embracing new ways of travelling around our beautiful city and helping us to create a healthier city with cleaner air for all.
I know that the launch date is fast approaching, but I also want everyone to know that there’s still plenty of time to prepare and seek out extra support if you need it.