Clean air plan 'penalising' drivers south of Bristol

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Accessibility means most villagers in and around Temple Cloud go north to Bristol or south to Wells

Clean air zone proposals threaten to cut off "half" of all North East Somerset residents from major roads heading north, it has been claimed. 

Bristol City Council revealed plans for a charging zone and diesel ban in part of the centre that thousands pass through to access the M32 or the A4. 

But councillors to the south of the city are claiming the proposals are being rushed through without thought.

They said people living on the A37 corridor are being "penalised".

Dine Romero, the leader of Bath and North East Somerset, has said she will raise the issue with Bristol's elected mayor Marvin Rees.

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council chairman Tony Hooper said while the clean air zone is overdue "people living along the A37 corridor and west of that, are going to be stymied trying to access the motorway network," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Scheme.

"For at least half of North East Somerset, it would appear we're going to be penalised for trying to get to the motorway network."

Image source, LDRS

Drivers of non-compliant vehicles would have to pay the same amount being proposed in Bath - £9 a day for taxis, private-hire taxis and vans, and £100 a day for buses, coaches and lorries. 

In a UK first, the proposals would also see all diesel vehicles, except buses, taxis and emergency service vehicles, banned from parts of the city centre between 07:00 and 15:00.

Mr Hooper added many villagers along the A37 are reliant on their cars - often diesel 4x4s - because the buses are inadequate or at capacity. 

Accessibility means most villagers in and around Temple Cloud go north to Bristol or south to Wells. He said a bus into Bath could take two-and-a-half hours, and would mean going via Bristol. 

"Inevitably, people rely on cars." 

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