Bristol Clean Air Zone could be scrapped in ‘three to four years’ if pollution levels fall

The Clean Air Zone in Bristol could be scrapped “in three to four years” if air pollution falls.

Modelling by Bristol City Council shows air quality could improve enough by then to end restrictions on vehicles.

If pollutant levels fall below those limits, then the Clean Air Zone could be abandoned, reports ITVX.

This would mean drivers of older diesel cars and other non-compliant vehicles would be allowed to drive through the centre of Bristol without paying a charge or a fine.

John Smith, Executive Director of Growth and Regeneration at Bristol City Council said: “The timeframe for the Clean Air Zone is driven by the legal compliance issue, so that determines how long it lasts.

“There’s not an immediate switch off if we reach compliance, because there’s a further period of testing. But we’re assuming another three to four years.”

The law could be tightened up and limits reduced further, meaning if “the goalposts are changed” then the Clean Air Zone would have to remain in Bristol for longer.

It is unclear how much pollution has fallen since the Clean Air Zone was launched in November last year but this is expected to be published by the council next month.

Deputy mayor Craig Cheney said: “The Clean Air Zone is a public health intervention and it provides data at the end of 12 months. Giving financial income in the meantime is a misleading figure. We’ve been keen to bring, for the sake of public discourse, the two together at the same time.”

Mr Smith added: “It was certainly reported and we did say it was going to be in December, so apologies for that. We had hoped we would be able to take the data and analyse it more quickly than we are.”

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