Which cars will be charged to enter Bristol's clean air zone?

January 25 2021

Bristol drivers are on tenterhooks waiting to find out if their car will be charged to enter a clean air zone (CAZ) in the city.
City mayor Marvin Rees revealed last week that motorists will be charged to enter a zone covering a small area of central Bristol.
Older private cars and commercial vehicles that are more polluting will be charged to enter the ‘small CAZ D’.
The small charging zone was one of two options Bristol City Council was required to consult on as it worked towards a final plan for cleaning up the city’s air.
It has not yet revealed all the details in the final proposal it must submit to the Government next month, but when asked what sort of vehicles would be charged, it pointed to the details in its consultation proposals.
Diesel cars:  According to those proposals, any diesel vehicle not conforming to Euro 6 emission standards will need to pay a CAZ charge.
As a guide, diesel cars that meet the Euro 6 standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after September 1, 2015.
In other words, a charge will apply to any diesel vehicles that are Euro 5 or older, and these are likely to be cars registered before September 2015.
It is recommended you contact the vehicle manufacturer to check your vehicle’s standard if you are unsure.
Petrol cars: Any petrol vehicle not conforming to Euro 4 emission standards will also need to pay a CAZ charge.
As a guide, petrol cars that meet the standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after January 1, 2006.
So the charge will apply to any petrol vehicle that is Euro 3 or older, and these are likely to be cars registered before 2006.
Again, it is recommended you contact the vehicle manufacturer to check your vehicle’s standard if you are unsure.
Hybrid cars:  The engine on hybrid vehicles must meet the relevant criteria for a diesel/petrol vehicle, as set out above.Daily charge, seven days a week
A council spokesperson said: “For both [consultation] options, the charges would apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week to non-compliant (older, more polluting) models of each type of vehicle.
“Vehicles would only be charged once in each 24 hour period.”
The charges have not yet been finalised by the council, but current estimates range from £9 to £100 per day, depending on the type of vehicle.
Whitehall has ordered the council to find the fastest way to get Bristol’s air pollution to within legal limits.
The council initially proposed a diesel ban but this was rejected by the government, which then required the council to consult on two more options.
These were the ‘small CAZ D’ alone, and another option combining the ‘small CAZ D’ with a larger clean air zone, called a ‘medium CAZ C’, that charges commercial vehicles but not private cars.
The authority had hoped the road changes introduced during the pandemic to help social distancing and encourage walking and cycling would improve air quality enough to avoid bringing in CAZ charges altogether.
But Mr Rees said on January 13: “The evidence that has come through the modelling suggests we are going to be implementing a small area CAZ D.
“This is in line with our moral responsibility to deliver clean air in the shortest possible time but also that’s going to be tested legally because the legal requirement is to get to compliance in the shortest possible time.
“A small area CAZ D seems to be the one coming out of the modelling that says it will provide that route.”
The council’s full business case will go to City Hall cabinet in February before formal submission to government.

Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter