Bristol has taken a step closer to becoming the UK’s first city to ban all diesel vehicles.
Bristol City Council this week voted to introduce restrictions across the city from 2021.
Privately-owned diesel vehicles will be banned from entering a central area of the city between 7am and 3pm every day.
The council has also adopted a wider charging zone for commercial vehicles which don’t meet specific emissions standards, with vans and taxis facing a £9 fee and HGVs facing a £100 charge.
A car scrappage scheme is set to be introduced alongside the ban.
The council is yet to decided on how much diesel drivers will be fined for driving through the restriction zone.
The vote is subject to government approval, following consultation with local residents and businesses.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We have a moral, we have an ecological and we have a legal duty to clean up the air we breathe.
“Tackling air pollution”
“These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionately affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.
“Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully.”
The ban has attracted fierce criticism from the motor industry.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “We recognise that efforts must be made to clean up the city’s air but as things stand, the impact of the proposals published today on people who currently drive diesel vehicles would be unprecedented.
“Major routes into, out of, and even around the city – like Temple Way and Brunel Way – would become out of bounds, with diesel vehicles forced onto other roads, which risks causing congestion problems where they don’t exist at the moment.”
Share your comments below.