A new Clean Air Zone to improve air quality and tackle pollution in Bristol will be introduced next summer.
Bristol City Council will launch a loans and grants scheme later this year to help consumers and businesses upgrade their polluting vehicles to cleaner alternatives.
Older and more polluting vehicles will be charged to drive in the city centre’s Clean Air Zone.
The implementation of the zone is expected to help the city remain on track to reduce pollution caused by traffic to within legal limits by 2023.
According to the council, nearly three quarters (71%) of vehicles travelling into the zone are already clean enough and won’t be charged.
Other support measures to be introduced by the council include £2.1 million of funding for local bus and coach companies to help them buy cleaner vehicles or upgrade existing ones to meet the Clean Air Zone’s emissions standards.
All residents inside the zone with a non-compliant vehicle will be offered a one-year exemption to give them time to apply for financial support to switch to a cleaner alternative or different way of travelling and free electric bike loans, cycle training, discounted car club membership and support to buy electric vehicles (EVs) will also be available to encourage people to use sustainable means of transport.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “I am delighted that by taking our time to work through the data in detail we have been able to bring forward the date we will reach compliance to clean Bristol’s air. The Clean Air Zone is a complex project. We’re working closely with government get it right and get the best deal for Bristol residents and businesses.
“The Clean Air Zone will help us create a healthier city while ensuring we don’t adversely affect less wealthy communities and by minimising the impact on the most vulnerable. We have a moral and legal duty to deliver clean air in Bristol in the shortest possible time and we’ve always sought to do so in a way that also protects the most deprived households in our city.
“Our new plans will ensure that everyone that needs help on our journey to cleaner air, gets it.”