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Residents Complain Bristol Clean Air Zone Is Unfairly Targeting Low-Income Individuals

Campaigners are voicing concerns about the impact of Bristol’s Clean Air Zone on working people more than a year since its implementation. Resident campaigners argue that the scheme, which charges certain cars to enter the city, is disproportionately affecting working drivers in Bristol.

The BBC reported in January that Bristol’s Clean Air Zone raised £26 million in its first year of operation, starting in November 2022 to charge drivers of the most polluting vehicles entering the city center.

Residents speaking to The Epoch Times expressed that the measures are imposing a financial burden on low-income individuals and shifting pollution to other areas. Similar Clean Air Zones exist in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, and Bristol, modeled after London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), imposing daily charges or fines on vehicles that do not meet specific emissions standards.

In Bristol, non-compliant cars, taxis, and vans are subject to a daily £9 charge, enforced by cameras operating 24/7 throughout the year. Non-payment results in a Penalty Charge Notice of £120 in addition to the CAZ charge.

2050 One City Plan

Bristol is committed to embracing the 15-minute city urban planning concept as outlined in its 2050 One City Plan to become a fair, healthy, and sustainable city.

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In January, Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees stated that the city’s air quality has improved significantly with a 10% reduction in nitrogen dioxide pollution citywide and a nearly 13% decrease within the Clean Air Zone.

He affirmed that the primary goal of the CAZ was to enhance air quality rather than generate revenue for the council. Rees indicated that if the progress continued, the CAZ might be phased out in the near future.

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