A long-awaited Clean Air Zone for Bristol is ‘on track’ to begin in September, the Mayor of Bristol has confirmed.
But at a press conference this morning (Wednesday, March 30) Marvin Rees was also unable to reveal an official launch date.
He appeared confident that the CAZ would go ahead in ‘late summer’ as planned, but warned that he couldn’t rule out any delays as the authority are relying on the Government to help them deliver the huge project.
He told the conference: “In terms of our work [at Bristol City Council], we’re on course.
“But this is also a national scheme and delivering the CAZ has to be carried out with national Government.
“We’ve had no indication from them that there is a delay but, then again, it’s always possible as they don’t always deliver on time.
“We saw this with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, along with a number of other big announcements.”
Bristol City Council has been under pressure from the Government to reduce pollution to within legal limits in the city by 2023.
The CAZ will help the authority achieve these targets by charging drivers of older, more polluting vehicles to enter it.
Mr Rees has previously hailed the CAZ as a ‘big win’ for Bristol, which he said would become a ‘greener and healthier’ city as a result of it.
But owners of non-compliant vehicles will face hefty charges, with polluting private cars, taxis and vans charged £9 a day, while buses, coaches and lorries will be charged £100 a day.
Last year, Bristol City Council announced it had secured £42m for grants and interest-free loans to reduce the cost of replacing non-compliant vehicles.
An online checker was also launched earlier this year so that residents can see how much they’ll be charged according to what vehicle they use.
Despite the fact the CAZ is set to affect potentially thousands of people, the city is still waiting on an exact date for when the scheme will come into play.