Community News

Have your say on options to reduce air pollution levels

Bristol City Council is consulting on two options for a Traffic Clean Air Zone, which aim to reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the shortest time possible.

The consultation which launched on 1 July continues until Monday 12 August 2019.

The European Union has set limits for NO2 to protect people’s health. The annual average of NO2 must not exceed 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3).

The council is consulting on nine locations in Bristol, which currently record illegal NO2levels.

Reducing air pollution to legal levels is also known as ‘reaching compliance’.

New technical work shows all areas of the city would meet these levels by 2029 for Option 1 of the consultation and by 2028 for Option 2.

The council is legally bound to put in place the option which reduces pollution within legal limits as soon as it can.

The majority of roads in the city are predicted to meet compliant levels before the two dates suggested by the technical report.

But two locations – Marlborough Street and Church Road – are estimated to take longer than the others.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “…We cannot solve this problem instantly, as much as we’d like to. It’s going take widespread, progressive improvement across the city, involving everyone.

“The data indicates, as expected, some locations will take longer than others to reach legal levels, but this doesn’t mean air quality will not be continually improving in Bristol. We remain committed to implementing a solution as soon as we possibly can.

“Other UK cities are also working to protect people from harmful pollution. To address it effectively and fairly we need citizens, businesses and visitors to come together in a way that we’ve never done so before. As a start, please engage with us on this ongoing consultation and share your views on the two options before 12 August…”

The council is calling for views from everyone living, working and visiting Bristol on its Traffic Clean Air Zone consultation. For more details about these options and to give your views, go to:

The two options are:

Option 1: Clean Air Zone (private cars not charged)

  • A zone where more polluting buses, coaches, taxis, heavy (HGVs) and light goods vehicles (LGVs) would be charged for each day they are driven in the zone. Taxis and LGVs would be charged £9 per day. HGVs, coaches and buses £100.

Option 1 would also include:

  • a 24-hour a day, seven day a week HGV weight restriction on the worst polluted routes;
  • A diesel car ban on Upper Maudlin Street and Park Row running from St James Barton roundabout to Park Street between 7am and 3pm, seven days a week (this would not apply to taxis/private hire or emergency services);
  • Bus and local traffic changes in the most polluting areas including an inbound bus lane on the M32, an inbound bus lane on Cumberland Road and using existing traffic signals to control the amount of traffic entering congested areas with poor air quality;
  • A scrappage scheme (up to £2,000) for diesel cars. This would provide a grant towards a newer cleaner vehicle or an alternative mode of transport (e.g. bus travel or purchasing a bike).

Option 2: Diesel car ban 

Banning all diesel cars from driving in a specific central area (small zone) from 7am to 3pm, seven days a week (this would not apply to taxis/private hire or emergency services). Other measures, including a scrappage scheme, could also be included.

The council is continuing to hold a number of drop-in sessions to give the public the opportunity to discuss the options in more detail:

Marksbury Road Library

Marksbury Road, Bedminster, BS3 5LG

Wednesday 24 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm

Malcolm X Community Centre

141 City Road, St Pauls, BS2 8YH

Tuesday 30 July, 2.30pm-7.30pm

City Hall (Vestibule)

Just off Park Street towards main entrance

Tuesday 6 August, 2.30pm-6.30pm