Consultation on new Traffic Clean Air Zone options

Closed 13 Dec 2020

Opened 8 Oct 2020

Feedback updated 22 Jun 2021

We asked

The consultation on the 2020 new Traffic Clean Air Zone options was open for six weeks from 8 October to 13 December 2020. The council consulted on two new options for a Traffic Clean Air Zone (CAZ) which are designed to achieve compliance with legal NO2 limits in line with legal obligations whilst mitigating the impact on vulnerable and low income households.

More information about what we consulted on is available in the consultation report.

You said

We received 4,225 responses to the consultation, the results of which are available here.

4,148 (98%) of the 4,225 respondents answered the question ‘how concerned are you about the impacts of poor air quality in Bristol on your health and the health of your family?’

There is a high level of concern about the health impacts of poor air quality among respondents

  • 77% of all respondents are very concerned (51%) or moderately concerned (26%);
  • 13% of all respondents are slightly concerned;
  • 10% of all respondents are not concerned.

Respondents were asked if they would be prepared to change how they travel into central Bristol if it would avoid the need for a clean air charging zone. Of the 4,225 respondents to the new Traffic Clean Air Zone options consultation, 4,180 (99%) answered this question (Figure ES 4).

1,574 (38%) said they were prepared to change how they travel, while 537 (13%) said they would not change, and 440 (11%) said they were not sure. 1,629 (39%) said that they already walk, cycle, use public transport or a low emission vehicle.

2,708 people answered the follow-up question on how they would change their travel. Respondents could select as many choices as they wanted.

The three most common options were switching from driving to walking (53%), using a bus instead of driving (52%) and switching to cycling (50%). The proportions of Bristol respondents selecting these options was higher than for respondents living elsewhere.

Of the 4,225 people who responded to the new Traffic Clean Air Zone options consultation, 4,149 (98%) stated how strongly they agree or disagree that option 1 is a good way to improve air quality in Bristol. 4,143 respondents (98%) stated how strongly they agree or disagree that option 2 is a good way to improve air quality in Bristol.

The majority of respondents agree or strongly agree with both options (54% for option 1, 60% for option 2). Support is higher for option 2 and more people strongly agree with option 2 than option 1 (20% strongly agree with option 1, 32% with option 2).

A higher proportion of respondents disagree or strongly disagree with option 1 (30%) than option 2 (26%). 16% neither agree nor disagree with option 1 and 14% with option 2.

More information about the results of the consultation is available in the consultation report.

We did

The consultation feedback was included in the Full Business Case (FBC) of the clean air plans which were put before Cabinet on 25 February 2021. Following approval by Cabinet, the plans were submitted to the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) for their consideration.

For further information on the clean air plans, visit


Air pollution has been a problem in Bristol and many UK cities for a long time. Bristol City Council has a moral and legal duty to ensure the city’s air quality meets legal limits of air pollution in the shortest possible time.

In 2019, we consulted on two options to reduce air pollution from traffic in Bristol city centre. Since then, the world around us has changed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This has led to some changes in lifestyle, work and travel behaviours, which led to significant improvements in air quality.

We have now carried out further air quality modelling to explore alternative ways to reduce traffic pollution, taking into consideration the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want an approach to improving air quality that does not compound the challenges already facing citizens and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council’s preferred approach is to encourage citizens and businesses to sustain the recent, less polluting travel behaviour that we have seen, and we plan to support this with some further modifications to roads around the city that make it easier to walk, cycle or use public transport.

However, we must consider additional measures in case the positive travel behaviours we have experienced recently aren’t sustained and these further measures are needed to reduce pollution to within legal limits in the shortest possible time.

We want your views on two new options for improving air quality, which would be needed if people’s travel behaviours return to how they were before and traffic builds up and pollution increases again above legal limits. Both new options would involve charging the most polluting vehicles to drive into central Bristol.

We also want to know if you would be prepared to change how you travel into central Bristol if this would mean there is no need for a charging clean air zone.

We want to hear from as many people as possible from all parts of Bristol.

If you would like a paper copy or the information in an alternative format please email or call 0117 9036449 and leave a message on the answerphone. Alternatively, you can write to: CAZ, Transport Engagement Team, PO BOX 3399, 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 9NE

You can see the PDF version of the consultation here.


  • Central


  • All residents
  • Expert Stakeholders
  • Equalities group(s)
  • Business


  • Traffic and transportation