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Bristol is to become the first city to ban diesel cars from entering parts of the city, following a council vote.

The council’s cabinet approved a Clean Air Zone plan that alongside the diesel ban will introduce a larger charging zone for non-compliant commercial vehicles, including vans, however, cars would be exempt from the CAZ.

As part of the plan, diesel cars are banned from the zone, while van owners will have to pay to enter the area.

Bristol Congestion

The central zone, where diesel cars will be banned between 07:00 and 15:00, includes part of the M32, the old city, Redcliffe, Spike Island, the Harbourside, and part of Hotwells. Vehicles, with the exception of taxis and emergency services, will incur fines if they stray into the area.

Diesel powered lorries, vans, buses and taxis which pay to enter the wider clean air zone will also be allowed in the central zone

Taxis and vans will pay a daily charge of £9 and buses and HGVs £100. Diesel cars will not be charged to enter the wider clean air zone.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionally affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles. Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered. If approved, mitigation measures will support those most affected, especially those living in the most deprived communities.”

An Outline Business Case will be submitted to the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) today, with the council and JAQU preparing a Full Business Case for submission next year. As part of the Full Business Case, there will be direct engagement with all businesses and residents affected to help manage implementation, including details of mitigations measures and exemptions, the council said.