Clean Air for Bristol

Read the Mayor’s blog for the latest on the clean air plans for Bristol HERE

Following the submission of our Outline Business Case (OBC) in November last year, we are continuing to work closely with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to develop the clean air plans for Bristol ahead of submitting our Full Business Case (FBC).

 

The update that was given to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board can be read HERE

All the documents for the Outline Business Case can be found HERE

Click HERE for the Cabinet report

Click HERE for the Executive Summary

Click HERE for the Boundary Update

Click HERE for the Finance Case

Click HERE for the Consultation Report

FAQs


Boundary Changes…

What are the changes you have made to the diesel ban area?

Adjusting to allow for diesel cars to travel from A370 to A4

Adjusting to allow access to Cabot Circus for diesel cars

Removal of the plans for a weight restriction on Marlborough Street and Upper Maudlin Street


Why have you made changes to the diesel ban area?

We made clear when we first revealed the plans in the Outline Business Case that the boundaries of the two areas will be subject to change as things progress.

Adjusting to allow for diesel cars to travel from A370 to A4 – The planned boundary of the Diesel Ban area cut off a route for people who wanted to skirt round the zone from the south to the north, and vice versa. We have therefore altered the boundary giving access via Plimsoll Bridge and Portway.

Adjusting to allow access to Cabot Circus for diesel cars – A challenge was put to us that the planned boundary of the Diesel Ban area would restrict access to Cabot Circus and result in shoppers going to Cribbs, negatively affecting Bristol’s economy. We have worked with Cabot Circus to understand their concerns and have amended the boundary so the car park can be accessed by those who want to drive and shop.

Will these boundary changes impact on the timeline for compliance?

No, the adjustments have been tested as part of the ongoing refinement process and the data shows that they will not affect the timeline, meaning we will reach compliance in the original time.

Are these the final boundary changes or could there be more?

We made clear when we first revealed the plans in the Outline Business Case that the boundaries of the two areas will be subject to change as things progress, and as this is an ongoing process, it will be some time before we can provide the final street by street information.

We are still working with Government to finalise the plans that will form the Full Business Case (FBC). The Full Business Case will include details of the final set of proposals including the finalised boundaries.

When will we know the final boundaries?

The final boundaries will be included in the Full Business Case


Weight restriction…

Why have you removed the weight restriction?

Following extensive modelling it was agreed to remove the weight restrictions because this didn’t contribute to achieving compliance any sooner than if a weight restriction was applied.

What consultation/engagement do you plan to do?

There have been a number of engagement activities undertaken with partners, stakeholders and residents. This will continue through to the full submission of the Full Business Case and also during implementation. If any groups have any specific concerns, the Clean Air team would be very happy to meet and discuss them.

Will there be a any further consultation?

A statutory consultation will be required on a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) before the diesel ban can be implemented.


Timeline…

Has your Outline Business Case been approved by Government?

Following the submission of the Outline Business Case (OBC) in November last year, the team has been working hard on further developing the plans to go into the Full Business Case (FBC). They have been in regular discussion with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), but we are still waiting for feedback on the OBC .We will hopefully get this in the next few weeks.

When will the Full Business Case go to cabinet?

Once we receive feedback from Government regarding the Outline Business Case we will be able to work to complete the Full Business Case and take this to Cabinet for approval. It is likely that this will be during March.

Will the Mayoral and council elections impact on the delivery of the scheme?

Bristol City Council has received a legal direction from the Government. Any Mayoral or council elections will not impact on the necessity to fulfil the requirements of the legal direction


Will a change of Mayor impact on the delivery of the scheme?

No as this is a legal direction received from Government

Mitigation and exemptions…

When will there be an update on exemptions and mitigation measures?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help mitigate any impact of the scheme. Discussions about this form a large chunk of the ongoing work, but unfortunately it’s not a simple process, as it all needs to be worked through. Sadly it’s not as easy as just granting exemptions, as every change to the plans need to be analysed in detail to check it doesn’t impact on the overall compliance.

Is there an update on how you will help disabled people and blue badge holders?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help lessen any impact. This is likely to include Concessions for disabled passenger vehicles and blue badge holders.

Is there an update on how you will help people that need to access the hospital?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help lessen the impact. This is likely to include a solution for patients needing to access the hospital.

We have also done some work to map the buses that serve the hospital. This has shown that there are 65 commercial bus services serving the central area, however we are aware that the hospital is currently only served by a number of services. Service 77 in both directions and services 626, T1, T3, U1 and Y1 stop outside the hospital on the way to the centre.

Since deregulation of the bus sector in the 1980’s, the local authority holds limited powers to compel bus operators to operate in certain ways. We are, however, currently in discussions with First bus about improving connections to the hospital and increasing bus routes.

Is there an update on how you will help people on low incomes?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help mitigate any impact. This is likely to include concessions for low income households.

Is there an update on how you will help residents?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help mitigate any impact. Following discussions with Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES), we are exploring replacing the proposed scrappage scheme with a grant and loan system. BANES have done a lot of work in this area and recently announced their plans, so we are going to consider a number of potential options.

Is there an update on how you will help businesses?

We are now very close to agreeing a package of exemptions and mitigation measures that we feel will help mitigate any impact. Following discussions with Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES), we are exploring replacing the proposed scrappage scheme with a grant and loan system. BANES have done a lot of work in this area and recently announced their plans, so we are going to consider a number of potential options.

Is there an update on the scrappage scheme?

Following discussions with Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES), we are exploring replacing the proposed scrappage scheme with a grant and loan system. BANES have done a lot of work in this area and recently announced their plans, so we are going to consider a number of potential options.

Is there an update on what you will do to help areas that will see an increase in traffic because of people trying to avoid the zones?

Our modelling indicates that the positive effects of our Clean Air Zone proposals will be felt across the whole city, both inside and outside the Clean Air Zone area. The modelling demonstrates that no areas will rise to above compliance levels as a result of displacement.

We are mapping all issues flagged with the Transport Service by residents within a 100m corridor of both zones, to ensure that communities that fall on the boundaries of the Clean Air Zone are being considered in the modelling.

Would a medium CAZ D be quicker and simpler?

The CAZ D modelling has been updated, as has the Hybrid scheme modelling, and a 2025 model created. This modelling shows the CAZ D as reaching compliance later than the Hybrid model. The Hybrid model reaches compliance in 2023 and the CAZ D model reaches compliance in 2024. As a result, our business case remains the quickest route to compliance.

Your Questions Answered

 

Overview

  • What is a Clean Air Zone?

A Clean Air Zone is a specific location where immediate action is taken locally to improve air quality and health. It aims to reduce public exposure to all sources of pollution, including nitrogen dioxide, by enforcing restrictions and encouraging cleaner vehicles.

  • What is the plan?

We are introducing two zones to make the air quality in Bristol better. The first zone is a medium area Clean Air Zone where non-compliant commercial vehicles like buses, lorries and taxis will be charged to enter. Private vehicles will not be charged. Inside that zone there will be a smaller zone where private diesel vehicles are banned between 7am and 3pm daily.

Please note that the following adjustments have been made to the diesel ban area:

• Adjusting to allow for diesel cars to travel from A370 to A4

• Adjusting to allow access to Cabot Circus for diesel cars

• Removal of the plans for a weight restriction on Marlborough Street and Upper Maudlin Street

  • What vehicles will be charged in the medium area CAZ?

Non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, coaches, taxis, Private Hire Vehicles (PHV), HGVs and LGVs. Most buses and taxis in Bristol are compliant so will not be affected.

  • Why are you introducing the Clean Air Zone and Diesel Ban Zone?

The Government has set a legal level for air quality in certain cities around the UK. We have been told that we must improve air quality in Bristol in the fastest way possible.

We have done a lot of work to find the best way to do this. Some people said we should charge all vehicles to enter a Clean Air Zone but we know not everyone can afford that. If we did that it would also take us longer to improve air quality.

  • Why is this only happening in the city centre? We need clean air across the city

The proposed Clean Air Zone and Diesel Ban focuses on the most polluted parts of the city meaning our overall air quality will improve.

  • I live next to the Clean Air Zone boundary, so will this move traffic and pollution into my area?. Won’t this plan just move pollution from one area to another?

There may be an impact in some localised areas with an increase in traffic however we have carefully planned and modelled this and the air quality will still be within legal limits.

We will continue to monitor these areas as part of our longer term journey to improve air quality cross the city.

  • What times will the zones be in operation?

The diesel ban area will operate between 0700-1500hrs every day of the week. There will be no restrictions outside these hours.

  • If someone is fined/charged where will the money go?

Any funding will be ring-fenced for improving air quality in Bristol.

Clean Air Zone Information

 

• When will you introduce a charging zone for non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis and HGVs?

March 2021.

• How will you enforce the charge to the Clean Air Zone for commercial vehicles?

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used. Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will be issued to drivers who choose not to pay the charge.

Diesel Ban Zone Information

Please note that the following adjustments have been made to the diesel ban area:

• Adjusting to allow for diesel cars to travel from A370 to A4

• Adjusting to allow access to Cabot Circus for diesel cars

• Removal of the plans for a weight restriction on Marlborough Street and Upper Maudlin Street

When will you introduce the small area diesel ban for all privately owned vehicles?

March 2021.

• What vehicles can go in the diesel ban area?

All commercial vehicles that have paid to enter the wider Clean Air Zone will be able to enter the diesel ban area. Private diesel cars will not be able to enter that zone but private petrol cars will be able to enter the zone.

• Are boats included in the diesel ban area?

No. Only private cars.

• How will you enforce the ban of private vehicles in the Diesel Ban Zone?

ANPR cameras will be used. PCNs will be issued to drivers who ignore the ban.

• How much will people be fined if they go into the Diesel Ban Zone?

The level of the PCN has not been decided. For the purposes of modelling the PCN was assumed at £60 (if paid within 14 days) and £120 (after 14 days). These assumptions will be further reviewed and tested as the full plan is developed.

• Can I pay to enter the Diesel Ban Zone?

Commercial vehicles that have paid to enter the Clean Air Zone can enter the Diesel Ban Zone as they will have already paid. Private vehicles are not charged to enter the Clean Air Zone, but are banned from the Diesel Ban Zone. They cannot pay to enter it during 0700-1500hrs, and will be fined if they do.

• What about petrol cars, are they banned?

Petrol cars are not affected. The Diesel Ban Zone is for private diesel vehicles only.

• Does the Diesel Ban Zone ban commercial lorries and vans? And if so, what weight of vehicle does it include?

No, commercial lorries and vans are not banned. If they are not compliant, they will have paid to enter the Clean Air Zone, and can move around in there, including the Diesel Ban Zone.

Charges for commercial vehicles should be tax deductible for businesses and traders.

• Will diesel taxis and private hire vehicles be banned from the city centre?

Most taxis in Bristol are compliant. Those that are not complaint will need to pay a daily charge to enter the Clean Air Zone. They can then move anywhere in the zone, including the Diesel Ban Area.

Compliant/non-compliant vehicles

• What is a compliant vehicle?

This is detailed by the Government here and in the grid below.

• How are diesel vehicles affected?

Non-compliant commercial diesel Taxis/Private Hire Vehicles, Light Goods Vehicles, Buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles will be charged for entering the Clean Air Zone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Charges for commercial vehicles should be tax deductible.

Privately registered diesel vehicles will not be charged for entering this zone.

Privately registered diesel vehicles will not be able to enter the Diesel Ban Zone between 0700-1500hrs, 7 days a week.

• Why are Euro 6 diesel cars banned but not old petrol cars?

To be legally compliant with the Government air quality levels, we must reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the city’s air to levels set by the government – in the shortest possible time.

While we know petrol cars also produce emissions, on average, petrol vehicle NO2 emissions are far lower than diesel.

• What is the science behind petrol and diesel?

By manufacturer group, Euro 6 petrol vehicle NO2 emissions for even the worst manufacturers were within 1.5 times the type-approval limit.

However for diesel vehicles, even the best manufacturer group had Euro 6 NO2 emissions of more than twice the type-approval limit, and all other manufacturer groups were at least four times the type-approval limit. Four manufacturer groups had average emissions of more than 12 times the type-approval limit.

So by introducing a Diesel Ban Zone we will be able to improve air quality and reduce NO2 as quickly as possible.

• Which taxis are considered compliant with the Clean Air Zone?

Compliant vehicles are Euro 6 and above for diesel taxis and Euro 4 and above for petrol taxis.

• Will there be support available to change my vehicle?

Currently all options are being considered and will continue to be developed by our project team. The models we do move forward with will help support the change from more polluting vehicles in favour of cleaner vehicles and greener forms of transport to help clean the city’s polluted air.

Public transport

• What impact will this have on buses and taxis?

We will continue to work with operators to assist them with government funding for upgrades to help them reach compliance, and have already secured significant funding to assist them with upgrading their vehicles. Most taxis are complaint.

• How are you going to improve public transport so this is a better option?

Providing more public transport options for residents, commuters and visitors is a critical element part of improving the city’s air quality.

• How are you going to improve Park and Ride so we can leave cars outside of the city?

We are proposing seven new Park and Ride sites at: M32; A37 south; A4018; A38 north; A38 south; Yate; A420.

The existing current Brislington Park and Ride site will be relocated and expanded on a new site to the east on the A4. There are also proposals to expand the Long Ashton and Portway Park and Ride sites.

Technical information

  • Why do we have to have a Clean Air Zone in Bristol?

The UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations was produced by the government in July 2017. The plan says councils with the worst levels of air pollution at busy road junctions and other areas must take immediate action to reduce this to satisfactory levels.

In central Bristol harmful levels of nitro dioxide have been recorded, so a Clean Air Zone is needed to improve air quality and health in the area.

• How are you going to improve air quality in Bristol?

To improve air quality and health in the centre of Bristol, an Outline Business Case (OBC) has been prepared by the council. The OBC recommends the following scheme:

• Bristol becoming the first city in the UK to ban all private diesel cars from driving in a small area of the city centre

• Non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) pay a charge to enter certain areas of the city centre.

• Why did you choose this approach?

Following a lot of research into different options, our chosen approach will make the fastest improvement to air quality. This means we will meet the government’s target to reduce nitrogen dioxide in the shortest possible time.

• When will air quality improve to satisfactory levels?

2025. This is two years earlier than if we had chosen to go ahead with other options such as charging all non-compliant vehicles including private ones.

• What support are you getting from the government?

We have presented our Outline Business Case to government and it has been approved by Cabinet. We hope to be able to submit our Full Business Case in March’

We are working with the government to improve air quality as quickly as possible. The government have committed to work with us to deliver the Clean Air Zone and will also fund the project.

• Why didn’t you consult on your chosen scheme for the Outline Business Case?

We consulted on two options, which have now been merged together.

We are not consulting on our chosen approach for the Outline Business Case, because it is not greatly different from the two options we consulted on. In addition, our chosen approach is the only option that will help us to reach the satisfactory levels of air quality set out by the government in the shortest possible time.

• Will there be any further consultation before the scheme is enforced?

Yes. Prior to putting the scheme into place, we will consult with the public on the detail such as Traffic Regulation and Charging Orders.

• What further work will be needed before you submit the Full Business Case?

If the Outlined Business Case is approved by government, then we would need to decide how the scheme would work. This includes deciding what the charges would be for non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and agreeing what private vehicles could continue to drive in the entire city centre such as Blue Badge Holders. We will also complete full design and procurement processes.

• Other councils are much further ahead in developing their Clean Air Zone plans. Why has it taken Bristol so long?

Bristol will be the first city in the UK to introduce an approach that will ban all private diesel cars from a certain area and charge non-compliant vehicles to enter certain areas of the city centre.

We have taken time to make sure our approach will reach the satisfactory levels of air quality set out by the government in the shortest possible time. We’ve also wanted to make sure our approach doesn’t have a disproportionate impact on low income households and people with protected characteristics.

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