Clean Air Zone: residents share thoughts on looming CAZ, branding it a ‘money-making scheme’

The Clean Air Zone will be imposed on November 28

Many Bristol residents are frustrated with the incoming Clean Air Zone which will see close to 30% of drivers in the city hit with daily charges if they want to enter the city centre.

Due on November 28, the CAZ has been imposed on Bristol City Council by central government to reduce the area’s pollution levels.

Currently, 71% of vehicles travelling into the zone meet the standard but those without could face fines ranging from £9-a-day for private cars to £100-a-day for lorries and buses.

A map of Bristol Clean Air Zone.

“When it comes to helping the climate, anything that is good for it is a good thing but I don’t know with the pricing,” Said Austin, who lives in Westbury-on-Trym.

“And the way interest rates and everything is going up, I probably don’t think it’s the right time to do this. The last thing you want to do is put people back into a condition where they are going to spend more.”

It has been estimated that the CAZ will prevent 1,500 vehicles per day helping to ease congestion as well as reducing air pollution.

Around £42million of financial support has been allocated to the council to help residents and businesses with polluting cars, primarily older models, to make the transition to a more eco-friendly mode of transport.

However, a freedom of information request has shown scores of applicants have been unable to secure these grants - including 45% of taxi drivers who have applied.

Delivery driver, Steve told Bristol World he has to deliver to the area impacted by the zones and how it will damage his employer.

“We’re a small business and we feel like we are being penalised for nothing and we don’t see that it (the zone) does anything.

“We see it as a money-making scheme as opposed to anything that’s helpful.”

To check whether your vehicle meets the criteria to enter the CAZ, visit www.bristol.gov.uk/residents/streets-travel/bristols-caz/charges-and-vehicle-checker

For more information on whether you are eligible and how to apply for financial support to change vehicle, log on to www.bristol.gov.uk/residents/streets-travel/bristols-caz/financial-support