Community NewsNews in Pictures

Bristol Clean Air Zone to launch end of November

Still time to apply for financial support to replace older vehicles

Main image courtesy of Bristol City Council.

Map of the Clean Air Zone. Bristol City Council website.

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone will launch on Monday 28 November to start tackling the city’s poor air quality – with charges for older and more polluting vehicles.

There is still time to apply to the council for financial support to replace vehicles that don’t meet the zone’s emission standards.

Announcing the new start date Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “This is a major milestone on our journey to clean air. We have now agreed a launch date for the zone with government ministers and officials at the Joint Air Quality Unit.

“On Monday 28 November Bristol will introduce one of the most far-reaching zones in the UK. Poor air quality has a major impact on the health of everyone in the city and the Clean Air Zone will help us tackle this issue and meet government targets for cleaner air in 2023. 

“Most drivers on Bristol roads won’t need to pay the daily charge but if you do then you may be eligible for financial support to upgrade your vehicle. It’s easy to check if your vehicle will be charged with the government’s Clean Air Zone checker tool.” 

Financial support and exemptions

The council is supporting people on low incomes and Bristol-based businesses prepare for the zone – with £42 million of funding to help those who need to replace pre-2006 vehicles to avoid a charge.

There have already been over 3,800 applications for financial support – which can be either interest free loans or grants. Eligible applicants will be contacted by the council’s finance partners in August to put them in touch with approved dealerships.

Mr Rees stressed people didn’t need to buy new electric cars to avoid the charges but could simply upgrade their old car for a 2006 one.

There is an exemption available until July 2023 for those who are successful in applying for financial support but have yet to receive their new vehicle. 

Bristol City Council has also asked the government to extend other temporary exemptions from the charge which will be available to:  

  • Residents living in the zone 
  • People working within the zone and earning less than £27,000 a year  
  • Blue Badge holders 
  • Patients attending hospitals in the zone 

Applications for these temporary exemptions will open in September. 

Active travel support of £5.9 million

There is also £5.9 million of council support for people living and working in Bristol to switch to active travel. This includes bike and e-bike trials, cycle training and VOI e-Scooter credit as well as bus taster tickets and planning sessions with travel experts to help people explore options for their regular journeys. 

Mr Rees added: “…By walking, cycling and using public transport more, we can make our city a healthier place for everyone. Our free travel offers are a great way of trying different ways of travelling to see what works for you.”

For more information about the zone and how to access financial or free active travel support visit: