Clean air plan consultation

Bristol City Council has been ordered by the government to submit plans to reduce harmful pollutants in the city’s atmosphere as soon as possible. A 6-week consultation on two options started 1st July 2019.

From a Totterdown perspective, it is noticeable that Wells Road and Bath Road are not mentioned in any of the measures, despite concerns about air pollution along these busy routes.

It may be that Totterdown could benefit from a suggestion in ‘Option 1’ (see below) which includes “a 24 hour a day, seven days a week HGV weight restriction (for HGVs over 3.5 tonnes) on the worst polluted routes”. Totterdown residents may wish to highlight this in their response to the consultation.

Having missed two deadlines, the Council is in danger of having to pay back £1.65m it received from the government to develop its proposals. Because of the delays, not all the necessary information is available about the effects of the proposals put forward.

Concerns were expressed at the Cabinet meeting on 18 June about lack of transparency and a reluctance to share information with the all-party Scrutiny Board. The Council was unable to say how soon reductions in nitrogen dioxide levels would be achieved, the health impacts of the two options, the effect on pollution in different parts of the city, how much money a charging zone would generate and what it would be spent on.

Marvin Rees told the cabinet meeting: “More details will come as we begin to do more detailed work.”

Mike Jackson, the council’s executive director of resources, said: “We’ve been very open in the cabinet report that that is not ideal and is a risk. But, on balance, it is a lesser risk than waiting until all of the technical work is completed and therefore seeing the whole timetable slip to a degree that is probably unacceptable to government.”

Some answers will be provided two weeks into the consultation. Others will not be available during the consultation.

The two options are:

Option 1 Clean Air Zone (private cars not charged)
• A zone in which older, more polluting buses, coaches, taxis, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs, i.e. goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes) and light goods vehicles (LGVs, i.e. goods vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes) would be charged. The following proposed charges would apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week and would be charged once in each 24 hour period: Taxis and LGVs would be charged £9, HGVs, coaches and buses £100.
Option 1 would also include:
• a 24 hour a day, seven days a week HGV weight restriction (for HGVs over 3.5 tonnes) on the worst polluted routes;
• All diesel car ban on Upper Maudlin Street and Park Row running from St James Barton roundabout to Park Street between 7am and 3pm, seven days a week (the ban would not apply to taxis, private hire or emergency vehicles);
• Bus and local traffic changes in the most polluting areas including an inbound bus lane on the M32, an
inbound bus lane on Cumberland Road, and using existing traffic signals to control the amount of traffic
entering congested areas with poor air quality;
• A scrappage scheme (up to £2,000) for private diesel cars. This would provide a grant towards a new vehicle or an alternative mode of transport (e.g. bus travel or purchasing a bike).

Option 2: Diesel car ban
Banning all diesel cars from driving in a specific central area (small zone) from 7am to 3pm, seven days a week (this would not apply to taxis/private hire or emergency services). Other measures, including a scrappage scheme, could also be included.

The Mayor and Cabinet will decide in September 2019 what approach to include when the council submits a Full Business Case to Government.

The consultation ends Monday 12 August

You can complete the consultation online here:  Consultation on Traffic Clean Air Zone options

If you cannot complete the survey online, you can request alternative formats by emailing transport.projects@bristol.gov.uk or by calling 0117 352 1397.

There will be six drop-in sessions where people will be able to discuss the options in more detail please drop by:

Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, BS5 0AX  Thursday 11 July 2:30pm-7:30pm

Easton Leisure Centre, Thrissell Street, Easton, BS5 0SW  Monday 15 July 3:30pm-7.30pm

Hope Chapel, Hope Chapel Hill, Hotwells, BS8 4ND  Monday 22 July 2:30pm-7.30pm

Marksbury Road Library, Marksbury Road, Bedminster, BS3 5LG  Wednesday 24 July 2.30pm-7.30pm

Malcolm X Community Centre, 141 City Road, St Pauls, BS2 8YH Tuesday 30 July 2:30pm-7.30pm

City Hall Vestibule BS1 5TR, Park Street towards main entrance, Tuesday 6 August 2.30pm-6.30pm