Bristol City Council greenlights trial to exempt some BRI patients from Clean Air Zone charges

Many exemptions for Clean Air Zone charges ended on April 1
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Some patients at Bristol city centre’s hospitals have been granted new exemptions to the Clean Air Zone after the council agreed to a three-month trial.

They include people attending emergency departments at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Children’s Hospital or Bristol Eye Hospital and those receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care.

Residents will also not have to pay to enter the zone for tests and treatment if they are eligible for support under the NHS healthcare travel costs scheme, such as those on certain benefits, including universal credit, income support and jobseeker’s allowance.

Patients may be eligible if they are on a low income and have savings of £16,000 or less, along with carers and parents who qualify for the scheme and whose child has been referred. This also applies to appointments at the Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol Dental Hospital and Central Health Clinic.

Most temporary exemptions for the CAZ, which came into force in November, ended on March 31, including residents who live in the zone, Blue Badge holders, low income workers and community transport vehicles.

A report to the University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Trust (UHBW) board, which runs the hospitals, said bosses had successfully negotiated the additional exemptions from April 1 with Bristol City Council.

Chief executive Eugine Yafele’s report to the meeting on Tuesday, April 18, said two long-term exemptions were also still in place – frequent outpatients who have three or more appointments a month for at least three months and visitors of long-stay inpatients.