Bristol City Council bosses refuse to confirm how many drivers have received Clear Air Zone fines
Council bosses are “not going to comment on particular figures” until November later this year
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A City Hall transport boss has refused to say how many drivers have been fined for driving into Bristol’s Clean Air Zone. The scheme has been running for four months now but details of its effects so far on traffic and pollution remain unclear.
Drivers already pay about £7 million in total each year to Bristol City Council for about 230,000 parking and bus lane fines. Clean Air Zone fines are now adding “many more” to that total, although the exact figures have not yet been revealed.
The cabinet approved an upgrade to the software used to process Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on Tuesday, April 4. During the cabinet meeting, questions were raised about how many PCNs have been issued to drivers who fail to pay the Clean Air Zone charge on time.
Labour Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport, said: “Parking services currently issue about 100,000 parking and 130,000 bus lane PCNs each year. The number of Clean Air Zone PCNs is adding more to this total.”
The Clean Air Zone launched on November 28 last year. People driving older and more polluting vehicles are charged a fee to drive into a zone around the city centre, either £9 or £100 depending on the vehicle size. And drivers who fail to pay this charge are issued a fine — but it’s unclear how many drivers the council has fined since the scheme was introduced.
Green Cllr David Wilcox, shadow cabinet member for transport, asked: “How many PCNs associated with the Clean Air Zone were issued in December, January and February?”
Council bosses are “not going to comment on particular figures” until November later this year. A report will then be published looking at all of the details of how the Clean Air Zone has worked in practice a year since it launched. This would likely include the total number of fines issued, as well as an analysis of how much air pollution has actually gone up or down.
Cllr Alexander said: “After one year of the launch of the Clean Air Zone, we will be producing a comprehensive report for members of the public. You will know all of the various details of that and it will be very comprehensive. But at the moment we’re not going to comment on particular figures like that.”