Car owners urged to get ready for Clean Air Zone

Bristol residents and business owners are being urged to check if their vehicles are complaint with the Clean Air Zone emission standards that will be introduced this summer.

Three quarters of vehicles in the city are already compliant so the Mayor of Bristol is urging people to check their vehicle as they might not need to pay a daily charge.

For those with non-compliant vehicles, Bristol City Council has secured £42m for grants or interest-free loans to reduce the cost of replacing vehicles that would be charged to enter the zone. The money can be used to buy a new or second-hand vehicle that meets the zone’s emissions standards.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We have always said we don’t want a Clean Air Zone to detrimentally impact the finances of those on low incomes or businesses that have already had a difficult two years. That’s why we have worked hard to get the best deal for Bristol which includes £42m for people to get cleaner vehicles.

“We have also increased the limit for those deemed on a low income from £24,000 to £26,000. This will rise to £27,000 in spring 2022, so more people are eligible for this funding.

“I urge everyone to go online, enter your registration number and find out if you’re compliant. If your vehicle will be charged to enter the zone then contact us to find out what help you can get with either exemptions, an interest free loan, or even a grant which you don’t pay back. You don’t need to buy a brand new electric car which are unaffordable for most people – it could be as simple as going to your local second hand dealer and upgrading your 2003 car for a 2006 one.”

One of several towns and cities mandated by the government to tackle air pollution, Mayor Rees was adamant that improving air quality must minimise any disproportionate impact on businesses and citizens.

Mayor Rees added: “We are tackling two major challenges – climate and inequality. While the Clean Air Zone will help us meet the legal standards for air quality as set out by Government, it won’t help with the myriad of complex issues that make up a city or help us solve a transport system that has been under invested in for decades. We are therefore committed to getting the Clean Air Zone in place, while working on creating a fairer, greener city for all with a mass transit system that services everyone.”

Visit bristol.gov.uk/cleanairzone to check your vehicle, find out how the zone will affect you and view a map of the zone

About the support

The support scheme is designed to significantly reduce the final cost of either replacing or adapting vehicles that don’t meet the zone’s emission standards.

For many individuals or businesses, upgrading to a vehicle that meets the zone’s emission standards could be a cost-effective alternative to paying the charge over the longer term.

  Grant per vehicle Loan per vehicle Funding award
Car £2,000 £5,000 £879,189
Taxi PHV £1,500 £9,000 £1m
Taxi Hackney £4,000 £9,000 £1.3m
LGV (vans and larger vehicles under 3.5 tonnes) £4,000 £16,000 £9.6m
HGV £16,000 £26,000 £743,772
Coach £16,000 £35,000 £1.1m
Bus retrofit     £2m

Eligible residents and businesses will be able to apply for the maximum grant or the maximum loan. The council will pay the interest on all loans.

Priority will be given to individuals, sole traders, charities and small businesses located in the Bristol City Council area and neighbouring areas, or with premises in the zone.

Residents and businesses can register their interest for financial support at bristol.gov.uk/cleanairzone where they can also find out more about the zone and check their vehicle. The council will put individuals and businesses in touch with finance providers in the new year.

A range of exemptions will also be available to give eligible businesses and individuals time to prepare for the zone. All residents in the zone with a vehicle that doesn’t meet its emission standards can apply for an exemption giving them until the end of 2022 to upgrade their vehicle.

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