Clean Air Zone: Cost to park around zone to increase by 30 per cent

City council says the increase in charges is in line with inflation - but will make an extra £600k a year

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Pay-and-display charges are set to rise in areas of the city expected to prove popular with drivers looking to avoid entering the Clean Air Zone.

Charges will increase in 15 parts of Bristol around the CAZ, which will come into force next summer.

The hourly rates in these areas will rise from £1 to £1.30 after the council’s Labour administration approved the 30 per cent price hike last week.

The increase affects pay-and-display spaces in the city’s 15 residents’ parking zones (RPZs), which sit in a ring around the city centre.

It has cost £1 per hour to park in most of these spaces since the first RPZ was introduced in 2011, and the 30p increase represents an ‘inflationary’ increase since then, according to a report to cabinet members on Tuesday, December 14.

Bristol’s RPZs are in Bower Ashton, Clifton East, Clifton Village, Cliftonwood & Hotwells, Cotham North, Cotham, Easton, Kingsdown, Redcliffe, Redland, St Pauls, Southville, Bedminster East, Montpelier and Spike Island.

They prioritise parking for residents, businesses and organisations in those areas, but each RPZ has a limited number of pay and display parking spaces.

A map of Bristol Clean Air Zone.A map of Bristol Clean Air Zone.
A map of Bristol Clean Air Zone.

They were introduced in areas that were typically flooded with parked cars left by commuters trying to avoid city centre parking fees.

Most of them lie outside the Clean Air Zone, so are likely to prove popular with drivers trying to avoid CAZ charges as well, the cabinet report noted.

Earlier this year, Lib Dem councillor for Hotwells, which falls within the boundaries of the Clean Air Zone, told BristolWorld: “There’s the problem that while the Clean Air Zone may keep cars away from the city centre, it might move cars around the edges as people try to escape paying the charge and push pollution levels up in those areas as a result.”

Lib Dem Bristol City Councillor Alex Hartley, Hotwells and Harbourside ward.Lib Dem Bristol City Councillor Alex Hartley, Hotwells and Harbourside ward.
Lib Dem Bristol City Councillor Alex Hartley, Hotwells and Harbourside ward.

It is not yet clear when the new pay-and-display charges will be introduced, but Bristol City Council will have to change all the parking signs first.

The first 30 minutes of parking will remain free, and the maximum number of hours you can stay in a space – three in most RPZs but more in others – will continue unchanged.

Price hike to bring an extra £600,000 to the council

The council predicts the number of drivers parking in pay-and-display spaces in the RPZ areas will fall by 25 per cent, according to the report.

Even so, the price rises are expected to bring an extra £600,000 per year to the local authority’s coffers, taking the annual total collected from pay-and-display parking in RPZs to more than £3.2million.

The council made more than £2.6million from pay and display charges in RPZs in the 2019/20 financial year, the report shows.

Nearly half the amount was collected in Clifton, where the public paid more than £1.2million to park in a pay and display space in Clifton Village or Clifton East.

That amount is expected to rise to £1.5million a year with the price rises.

The price of an evening pay-and-display ticket in the Clifton Village and Clifton East RPZs will also rise from £3 to £3.90 for four hours between 5pm and 9pm.

The report to members said the 30 per cent increase was ‘in line with the recent uplift in city centre parking charges and to continue to ensure transport policy objectives remain effective’.

Cabinet approved increases to charges at the council’s car parks and city centre streets in January, many of which standardised an underlying rate of £1.50 per hour.

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