To reduce air pollution in the city, Bristol City Council has launched a Clean Air Zone.
No vehicles are banned from entering Bristol Clean Air Zone, which covers a small central area of the city and the Portway, but older and more polluting vehicles are being charged.
People will not receive written notification or any kind of alert that they have entered Bristol Clean Air Zone or that a payment is due. Individuals and businesses are fully responsible for managing this.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said:
What an incredible milestone we’ve achieved today, launching Bristol’s Clean Air Zone to help create a city that is healthier for everyone to grow up, live and work in. No vehicles are banned from entering the central zone, and Bristol remains very much open to all residents, visitors and businesses, particularly as we look ahead to the busy Christmas period.
We have always sought to reduce air pollution in Bristol to improve the city’s health, but we’re also mindful of the financial strain people are under at the moment. We have taken our time to find a way to clean up our air, while also providing support to those who need it most. Temporary exemptions and financial support are still available, and I urge people to check if they’re eligible.
To date, the council has had over 6,000 applications for financial support such as grants and loans to change or upgrade vehicles. Over 1,500 applications for temporary exemptions have been approved, mostly to Blue Badge holders, and over 8,000 active travel offers such as bus tickets and Voi scooter credit have been given out.
Mayor Rees continued:
I would encourage you to try out our bus, train and park and ride services as an alternative way to travel around Bristol, and we still have free vouchers available to help you give these options a go. You can visit the council website for more information on how to register your interest, as well as more information about the zone boundary map to help you best plan your journeys.
Daily charges for Bristol Clean Air Zone apply 24 hours a day (midnight to midnight), seven days a week, all year round, and must be paid within six days of travel.
People can pay online at www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones or by calling the Clean Air Zone support line on 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday: 8am to 7pm, Saturday: 8am to 2pm). Users of smart phones can also pay the charge using free-to-use apps like Caura.
Business owners can sign up to the Business Accounts Feature, to set up a Bristol-specific account to help manage payment for multiple vehicles entering and exiting the Zone.
From today, the council will send Penalty Charge Notices to people who drive non-compliant vehicles in the Zone and do not pay the appropriate daily charge.
However, for the next six weeks, people will be given the option of a Special Payment Offer which gives seven additional days to pay the appropriate daily charge for that journey. This is £9 for private cars, taxis and light goods vehicles and £100 for heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches. If the charge is paid, the remaining Penalty Charge of £120 will be cancelled.
Failure to pay this daily charge will result in a full Penalty Charge Notice of £120, or £60 if paid within 14 days, as well as the outstanding daily charge.
Drivers in Bristol and surrounding areas are encouraged to look out for roadside signage showing when they are entering or approaching the zone. Some signs count down how many miles to go until the zone starts and others have a green cloud symbol on, with the letter D inside.