Bristol is on track to become the first UK city to ban diesel cars in parts of the centre after the council approved an “ambitious plan” to tackle air pollution.
The “Clean Air Zone” means that privately owned diesel cars will be banned from the central area from 7am to 3pm, while commercial vehicles will be subject to a charge to enter.
It will be enforced by a penalty charge notice (PCN) – though the amount has not yet been decided, the council has suggested £60 if paid within 14 days, doubling if paid after the two-week deadline.
Privately owned petrol cars will be allowed to enter the area and the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said the council will also look at possible diesel exemptions to “mitigate hospital visits, disabled travellers, protect the local economy”.
The move is the council’s bid to meet national Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) legal levels by March 2021 after the government raised concerns over air quality in 2017.
Bristol City Council said now it has been approved by cabinet, it hopes the final plan for the system will be ready by March 2020, to make way for its implementation the following year. It still needs to be approved by the government.
It said it also hopes to introduce a “car scrappage scheme” that would give people financial support to change their cars to a compliant model.
Mr Rees said the councillors will also be working on improving public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and progress towards an underground system.