The South Bristol street split in two by the Clean Air Zone

Beauley Road in Southville is one of several Bristol streets split in half by the CAZ boundaries
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With two weeks to go until Bristol’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) starts, residents of one city street are quite literally split on the subject.

Beauley Road in Southville is one of a number of Bristol streets geographically split in half by the boundaries of the CAZ.

The first few metres of the street off Coronation Street are inside the zone where cameras will go up on November 28, and houses and businesses further down Beauley Road are outside the CAZ.

Currently, around 71% of vehicles in Bristol pass the criteria to enter the CAZ free-of-charge. Motorists are encouraged to check if their vehicles are deemed suitable for the zone by using an online vehicle checker.

Cars, taxis and vans will face £9 daily charges while HGVs, coaches and buses could be hit with daily £100 fines - all fines are to be paid within six days.

If CAZ charges are not paid on time, people may be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £120, reduced to £60 if it is paid within 14 days.

Resident Mark Coates lives a few houses down from the CAZ boundary so he’s technically outside the zone but it’s still going to impact him.

“We’re about to drive off to Yate so after the CAZ comes into force, we would have to drive a different way to do that.

“I have mixed feelings about the thing. Air quality in Bristol is unhealthy and below legal levels so we have to do something about it.

“It does feel a little difficult here as we’re outside the CAZ but we can’t drive to the end of our street to get onto the Portway or into town. It’s quite a big detour for our journey, probably an extra 10-15 minutes, but then I think you have to make things inconvenient to change behaviour.

“To be honest, in the scheme of Bristol’s problems, with all the horrible decisions the council has to make based on the budget, the CAZ is not top of my list!”

Beauley Road resident George has mixed feelings about the CAZBeauley Road resident George has mixed feelings about the CAZ
Beauley Road resident George has mixed feelings about the CAZ

Neighbour George says Beauley Road being split by the CAZ is sure to have some implications for him, too.

“We’re right on the edge of the area so it will affect me as it’s my main route out, but I’m not a regular drive apart from at weekends and I cycle to work.”

George says the CAZ has also made him think about using a car and whether or not to replace his old vehicle.

“It has made me reconsider whether I’ll have a car in the long run. We have an old car that’s on its last legs and electric cars are the obvious way to go but it is a big leap with the initial costs. Also, there are no chargers for electric vehicles here so the infrastructure isn’t there yet.

“I think a lot of people who would like to be driving electric cars are still driving petrol cars because of the transition costs.

“But I do wonder how many people could get away without driving, or at least not driving short distances like going to Asda up the road, for example.”

Fellow Beauley Road resident Doug says he researched which vehicles are compliant with CAZ requirements and his petrol-powered car was OK, although he did sell his diesel van, partly due to the forthcoming CAZ.

“The diesel van was getting old anyway but the CAZ was one of the reasons we sold it. It wasn’t the nail in the coffin, but it was a contributory factor.

“There has been some mention of the CAZ among neighbours, but not too much. I think there’s some acceptance that it’s the right thing to do.

“We also cycle a lot and when you’re cycling behind loads of busy diesel traffic, you really do feel the poor quality of the air when you’re gasping for breath. Ultimately, I sympathise with the cause and I think getting the city centre as clean as possible is the way forward.”

Alex Pearson of Bristol Reclamation says the CAZ is a ‘disaster’ for his businessAlex Pearson of Bristol Reclamation says the CAZ is a ‘disaster’ for his business
Alex Pearson of Bristol Reclamation says the CAZ is a ‘disaster’ for his business

Alex Pearson runs Bristol Reclamation, a family-run business selling up-cycled furniture, Victorian fireplaces and all manner of vintage household items. The business is located in Park Road, on the junction with Beauley Road so exactly where the CAZ begins.

Alex says the CAZ will impact him ‘considerably’ in terms of delivering furniture to customers, but also for people visiting his showroom.

“The boundaries of the CAZ cut the city in half so it’s also going to impact on people north of the city centre coming the business here.

“The CAZ is an important thing for the environment but for me personally and this business, it’s a disaster.

“I emailed the council to request the possibility of a grant to upgrade my vehicle but I haven’t heard from them. There must be loads of businesses affected by this.

“The boundaries just scream of money making. There are aspects of it that I don’t think are necessary. We don’t even know where the camera will be but there will be a lot people passing through it unknowingly and they’ll be the ones getting the fines.”