Bristol

Bristol diesel ban: Council halts £6m new van rollout

Bristol city centre Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The diesel ban is due to come into force in 2021

A council has halted a £6m upgrade of its vehicle fleet because it conflicts with plans to impose a diesel ban in the city centre.

Bristol City Council is hoping a ban on privately-owned diesel vehicles, which needs government approval, will start in 2021.

It has spent at least £2.7m on 135 new vans this year - 64 of them diesel.

It said it had put the programme on hold to "reconsider future purchases".

A further 18 diesel vans are due to be delivered in January because they had already been ordered, the authority said.

Bristol City Council's cabinet signed off the scheme to replace three-quarters of its fleet with "newer, cleaner vehicles" in December 2017.

At that stage, the authority was expecting to introduce a clean air zone to meet a government requirement to tackle air pollution.

However, since then it has proposed the inner-city ban on all privately owned diesel vehicles as well.

The 07:00 to 15:00 ban would only apply to privately-owned diesel vehicles so council-owned vehicles would be exempt.

Older, more polluting commercial vehicles, such as buses and taxis, would be charged a fee to enter a wider clean air zone surrounding the ban area.

The council said it would now consider what new technology was available, expand its infrastructure for electric vehicles and finalise clean air plans.

No decisions have been made on the fuel makeup of future vehicle purchases, a spokesman said.

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