Bristol’s Clean Air Zone was introduced on 28 November last year to help protect the people of our city from the harmful effects of air pollution. We have a moral and legal duty to deliver cleaner air.
We knew that some people would need more time to adapt to the Clean Air Zone which is why we negotiated initial exemptions and secured extensions until 31 March. After four months, most of these exemptions will come to an end on 1 April.
Overall, around four out of five vehicles driving in the zone already meet the zone’s requirements and aren’t being charged anything. This is a great step in the right direction.
Bristol has been instructed by government to introduce measures that will bring our city’s air quality within legal levels in the shortest possible time. This is because the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which comes from older and more polluting vehicles has a serious impact on our health.
With that in mind, we have made sure that support is still available to Bristol’s residents and businesses who may need more help after exemptions end. Back in 2021, we secured a package of £42 million funding to help people to find ways to make their journeys in and around our city more sustainable. This is much more funding than other cities which have implemented Clean Air Zones
Grants and loans are still on offer to help you upgrade to a vehicle that won’t be charged in the zone. This doesn’t have to be a brand new or electric vehicle – it can be second hand as long as it meets the zone’s emissions standards. Support is available to Bristol based businesses and those on an income of less than £27,000, including Blue Badge holders. The £27,000 threshold is one which we had to push the government on too. It’s a lot higher than the £22,000 cap that was originally proposed.
It’s not too late to apply for this financial assistance and I would encourage anyone who needs support after March to get in touch by registering your interest on our website as soon as possible.
We also have free active travel offers available to anyone that lives or works in Bristol. This includes bike and e-bike trials, cycle training, VOI e-Scooter credit, bus and train taster tickets and car club credit. These offers are a great opportunity for people in Bristol to try out new ways of travelling that are better for their health, wellbeing, and the environment too. Changing just a few of your journeys each week can make a big difference. Apply on our website now to receive your free travel offers.
If you need advice or guidance about the Clean Air Zone, you can contact our team of advisors who are always happy to help. Take a look at the information on our webpages or give us a call on 0117 903 6385.