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Bristol introduces £9-a-day charge on older cars TODAY

Britsol's sting on motorists: City Council today introduced its Clean Air Zone, which charges drivers of older petrol and diesel cars to enter from midnight

Bristol is the latest city in Britain to introduce an emissions tax for drivers, charging those with older petrol and diesel cars a £9-a-day charge to use certain roads.

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was launched at midnight and becomes the sixth charging zone in the UK hitting the pockets of motorists.

Drivers of older polluting vehicles must pay £9 a day to enter the central area of ​​the city and part of the Portway in a bid to reduce air pollution.

A number of exemptions will be in place for residents, low-income people, Blue Badge holders and visitors to the hospital. However, these are heavily cautioned and almost all expire by the end of March 2023.

Britsol's sting on motorists: City Council today introduced its Clean Air Zone, which charges drivers of older petrol and diesel cars to enter from midnight

Britsol’s sting on motorists: City Council today introduced its Clean Air Zone, which charges drivers of older petrol and diesel cars to enter from midnight

Mayor Marvin Rees described its introduction as “an important step for air quality in Bristol”.

It comes just days after London Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed that the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will be expanded in August 2023.

The ULEZ will cover all 33 boroughs of the city, stretching over 30 miles from Uxbridge to Upminster and will see hundreds of thousands more drivers face a daily charge of £12.50 to use London’s roads .

Bristol City Council estimates around 30 per cent of vehicles entering the CAZ will be bitten by its daily load, which is around 75,000 engines.

Is your car compliant?

Only diesel cars that meet Euro6 emission standards avoid the Bristol CAZ charge, while petrols that meet Euro4 and newer comply:

Euro 1 – from December 31, 1992

Euro 2 – from January 1, 1997

Euro 3 – from January 1, 2001

Euro 4 – from 1 January 2006 (common minimum standard for petrol cars)

Euro 5 – from January 1, 2011

Euro 6 – from 1 September 2015 (common minimum standard for diesel cars

This would generate funds amounting to at least £675,000 per day.

A trial of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras monitoring the CAZ area was carried out for three weeks in September. During this period, almost 100,000 motorists received warning letters telling them that they would be charged from today (28 November).

Diesel cars, taxis and vans that do not meet the latest Euro6 emissions standards (usually those registered before September 2015), while petrol models that do not meet Euro4 (mainly those registered before January 2006) will be hit from £9 per day. charge.

Those planning to drive in the city are urged to use the government’s CAZ Vehicle Checker to see if their car is compliant.

HGVs, buses and coaches will be hit with much larger charges of £100.

Bristol City Council estimates that 30% of vehicles entering the CAZ will be bitten by its daily load, which is around 75,000 engines.  It would generate at least £675,000 a day

Bristol City Council estimates that 30% of vehicles entering the CAZ will be bitten by its daily load, which is around 75,000 engines. It would generate at least £675,000 a day

Bristol City Council said people “will not receive any written notification or any sort of alert” that they have entered CAZ or that a payment is due.

“Individuals and businesses are entirely responsible for managing this,” he added.

Failure to pay the daily fee will result in a full penalty notice of £120, or £60 if paid within 14 days, plus the unpaid daily fee.

However, for the first six weeks of the program’s introduction, people will have the option of a “special payment offer”, which gives an additional seven days (21 in total) to pay the appropriate day rate for that trip.

The zone has a 24-hour enforcement period, operating seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Mayor Rees said: ‘What an incredible step we have taken today, launching Bristol’s Clean Air Zone to help create a healthier city for everyone to grow, live and work.

“We have always sought to reduce air pollution in Bristol to improve the health of the city, but we are also aware of the financial pressure people are currently under.

“We took our time to find a way to clean our air, while providing support to those who need it most. Temporary exemptions and financial support are still available, and I urge people to check if they are eligible.

Those planning to drive into town are urged to use the government's CAZ Vehicle Checker to see if their car is compliant

Those planning to drive into town are urged to use the government’s CAZ Vehicle Checker to see if their car is compliant

Exemptions available, but only for FOUR MONTHS

Although Bristol City Council has a number of different CAZ exemptions for residents and businesses, some are likely to cause confusion and be difficult to deal with – and almost all of them will expire in a few months.

Residents who live inside the CAZ can apply for an exemption, but this only lasts until March 31, 2023, meaning residents only have four months to replace their old cars to avoid getting bitten £9 a day.

There is also an exemption for low-income workers, although this is strongly cautioned.

It is only available to those who live outside the Bristol CAZ boundaries, work more than 18 hours per week in business premises within the area. Only those earning less than £26,000 per year and no more than £13.51 per hour can apply.

Again, this exemption is only available until March 31, 2023.

There are a number of exemptions, including one for anyone earning less than £26,000 a year.  However, all exemptions are heavily cautioned and confusing - and only last for 16 months

There are a number of exemptions, including one for anyone earning less than £26,000 a year. However, all exemptions are heavily cautioned and confusing – and only last for 16 months

Blue Badge holders are only exempted if the badged vehicle is registered at their home, while those who “travel occasionally” in a non-compliant vehicle with a Blue Badge can claim up to 30 daily exemptions.

Again, the daily charge immunity for the disabled also expires at the end of March 2023.

Inpatients will escape the daily charge until March 31, 2023, then from April 1 a new exemption will apply for a “limited number of patients identified by clinical hospital staff as regular outpatients”.

Hospital visitors can only apply for short-term exemptions for seven days.

Bristol City Council has also confirmed that a vehicle forced into the CAZ due to official diversions from a road outside the area, for example the M5, will not be hit with the daily charge.

Charging zones in 13 UK cities from summer 2023

These are the 13 cities that have – or will soon – have introduced low emission zones that will charge some drivers to enter

These are the 13 cities that have – or will soon – have introduced low emission zones that will charge some drivers to enter

Bristol is the fourth city to introduce a CAZ, following similar schemes in place in Bath, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Bradford.

In addition to London’s ULEZ, Oxford introduced a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in February banning all vehicles from certain city center roads. Low emission zones in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are also in place, although charges will not be implemented in these Scottish cities until the second quarter of 2023.

Further emission pricing zones are also set to be introduced in Sheffield and Tyneside (covering the Newcastle and Gateshead areas) from the start of next year.

This means 13 locations across the UK will charge some drivers to enter from next summer. You can learn more about each emissions pricing zone in our in-depth guide.

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