Bristol’s Clean Air Zone

A major source of air pollution in cities is road traffic, particularly diesel engines. Air pollution affects everyone in Bristol, especially children, older people and those with heart, breathing and underlying health conditions.

Toxic air pollution contributes to 300 deaths a year in Bristol. Bristol City Council has a legal and moral duty to reduce pollution in the shortest possible time. The government has directed Bristol and other cities to do this through a Clean Air Zone.

How the zone works

The zone aims to improve air quality by reducing harmful levels of air pollution caused by traffic. It will help to ensure everyone in Bristol benefits from a healthy and natural environment.

The daily charge applies to older and more polluting vehicles driving in the zone. This will be reinvested back into the local community, supporting individuals and businesses to switch to cleaner vehicles, ongoing work to make it easier to walk and cycle, and the introduction of green public transport.

We estimate the zone will deliver compliance with legal limits for air pollution in 2023, much sooner than previous proposals.

What’s happening

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone is now live and operational (as of 28 November 2022). The council has a package of financial support to help residents and businesses adapt to the changes to tackle pollution in the city.

Interest in our support scheme has been high and we are applying for further funding from government so that we can support more individuals and businesses in Bristol. You can still express your interest in our financial assistance scheme, but we cannot guarantee that you will receive funding at this stage.

Register your interest for financial support on the Bristol City Council website.

How the zone has been designed

The size of the zone and its boundary has been designed to meet air quality targets in the central area where air quality is worst in the shortest possible time.

The zone is intended to encourage drivers and businesses to either update their vehicles, change their route, change their mode, or not make the trip.

The Cumberland Basin and Portway are in the zone because they are main routes into the city. Removing these areas from the zone would affect how quickly air quality falls to within legal limits.

Simple plan of Bristol's Clean Air Zone