Bristol City Council is required to implement a Clean Air Zone (CAZ). They have announced the options they are considering, will make a final decision by the end of 2018.
The CAZ may cover a "small" area: the city centre (from the Bear Pit to Hotwells). Or it may cover a "medium area" which cuts through Bishopston and includes Gloucester Road up as far as Bishopston Library and most of St Andrews.
Some details have been covered by the Bristol Post.
There may be a charge for vehicles including private cars driving in the CAZ, or it may exclude private cars and only charge larger and commercial vehicles, or there may be no charge.
Many vehicles would be exempt from charges: diesel vehicles registered after 2014, petrol vehicles registered after 2006 and electric vehicles
Possible impact on Bishopston:-
- If the plan works we should benefit from cleaner air, but it's hard to know whether the "small" zone would make much difference to Bishopston as it's over a mile away.
- If the "medium" zone is implemented then some vehicles may be deterred from driving in the zone but others may take a longer route or use rat-runs in order to avoid the zone or may park just outside the CAZ. Parts of Bishopston are just outside the zone so we may see an increase in dirtier vehicles. For example, drivers might use Egerton Road and Arundel Road to avoid the CAZ or might park there and walk to the shops.
- Traders on Gloucester Road may fear that a CAZ would take away some of their customers. On the other hand, customers may have second thoughts about frequenting Gloucester Road as they become more aware of the current levels of air pollution.
- Residents within the CAZ may find that they're liable for charges every day they start their car, but without the CAZ they may find that the health of their family suffers and their neighbourhood becomes less desirable.
- The CAZ is focused on vehicles. It's unlikely to include any measures to reduce pollution from wood burners or other domestic or commercial sources, although it's possible that the council will improve enforcement of existing smoke control regulations.
Bristol City Council has started awareness campaigns and has launched a new dedicated web site for Clean Air for Bristol at https://www.cleanairforbristol.org. They are planning a public consultation in the autumn, but note that this will not ask residents to choose between the CAZ options as this is a technical decision driven by legal requirements on the council.
The Council is however keen to hear how air pollution and the options under consideration will impact us, and any specific suggestions relating to the proposed options. Email them at , and please let the Clean Air Bishopston team know your hope and concerns for air quality and the CAZ in Bishopston.
Please see "What are 'they' doing about air quality?" for a wider account of clean air actions and policies by our public authorities.