Bristol’s Clean Air Zone and What It Means for Drivers

In the latest attempt to combat the dirty air that clogs Bristol, the City Council has launched a new scheme to offer discounts on council tax for those who choose electric or ultra-low emission vehicles. It also revealed plans to charge motorists with pre-2006 petrol and diesel cars an extra £10 if they drive into designated low-emission zones in the city center and Bedminster. It also aims to reduce congestion, support cleaner air and help cut carbon emissions.


Background to the Scheme

The scheme, which aims to reduce the impacts of air pollution on Bristol’s residents, will give those buying or leasing a new or second-hand car, van, truck or bus a discount on their council tax. The move is said to be the ‘first of its kind in the UK. The scheme is aimed at drivers of vehicles that emit more than 75g per km of CO2 and has been designed to encourage motorists to switch to greener cars, thus cutting the city’s air pollution and congestion levels or choosing greener transport options such as electric taxi services.

Bristol Is Leading the Way in Low Emission Zones

Bristol has already been recognized as a leader in low-emission zones, making it the first to introduce an ultra-low-emission zone. Its charging scheme for pre-2006 vehicles is also unique in the UK, given that London and Birmingham planned to introduce similar measures in 2010. According to the Environment Agency data on CO2 emissions, Bristol is renowned for its high levels of traffic congestion and poor air quality. However, the scheme will encourage more residents to use cars that emit less pollution than pre-2006 models.

Led App Designed to Help Savvy Drivers Avoid Clean Air Zone Charge

To help drivers affected by the scheme, the council has created an app to inform them of whether or not they are in a low-emission zone. The app uses the latest smartphone technology to show drivers if they are in a low-emission zone, if they are driving too close to other motorists or if there is an obstruction on the road, such as a parked car. The app will be available free of charge from the Apple Store, Google Play and Windows App Store.

Charging Structure

Drivers with cars that predate 2006 will be charged an additional £10 to drive into the city center and Bed-minster, a part of the city that has been identified as a pollution hot spot. The charging structure is based on how polluting vehicles are, with those emitting more than 75g/km of CO2 being charged £10 to drive into the city. Low-emission vehicles, such as hybrid cars, will not be charged.


The council has estimated that up to 30% of cars on the road in Bristol are more than ten years old and they are also said to be our main source of pollution. This scheme encourages residents to move on from pre-2006 vehicles, improving the city’s air pollution levels in the long run. The project is also expected to cut congestion, support cleaner air and help cut carbon emissions.

Bristol is one of the most congested cities in the UK and, along with London, has some of the highest levels of air pollution. The scheme will encourage residents to move on from pre-2006 vehicles, making the city’s air pollution levels better in the long run. As a result of the project, traffic congestion is also reduced, and there will likely be better air quality for Bristol’s residents to enjoy.