Bristol Clean Air Zone: Business owners concerned as charges come into effect

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Businesses across Bristol are preparing for the introduction of the city's Clean Air Zone, which comes into effect on Monday (28 November).

Under the clean air zone, older cars will be charged £9 a day, as will taxis and light good vehicles. HGVs, buses and coaches will have to pay £100 to travel through the zone.

There are concerns that traffic could build on the outskirts of the zone, according to the Bristol Event Catering Company.

They are based in Bedminster, and although the vans they use will not be charged, they are concerned about the traffic the zone will create.

Ed Warr, head of operations, told ITV News West Country: "We potentially could be seeing an increase in traffic for our deliveries out to the centre of town, to places like the Old Vic and Bristol University.

"So I think we could see increased times, durations which could lead to higher costs for us."

Zedify uses electric bikes to delivery parcels across the city centre Credit: ITV News

The clean air zone was one of the reasons one electric bike delivery company decided to set their depot up on the outskirts of the zone's boundary. Bosses say they are hopeful the clean air zone will help boost business.

Simon Whitehead, the managing director of Zedify, said: "A non-compliant vehicle, or a big HGV, can come into our hub without entering the clean air zone, so they don't get that clean air zone charge.

"They can deliver directly into us, we can then de-van, offload and re-load onto our super environmentally friendly fast clean bikes and trikes.

"In the last four or five months, we have had quite a few more enquiries from companies that are suddenly realising they have got to do something about their supply chain.

"It definitely will have a positive impact for us along with a positive impact for the environment."

According to Bristol City Council, the 71 per cent of vehicles that drive through the city are already compliant - and they anticipate that this number will grow.

But charities are calling for their vehicles to be exempt from the charge. The van Helping Homeless Believe use is just one year too old and will need to pay the charge.

Hayley Jennings, the founder of the charity, said: "We might not be able to go into town as often, we use the van once a week to transport our items for outreach but we also do give people lifts.

"We help people with moving furniture collecting donations, so if each time we are going into town, if we're going to be charged the 9 pounds that is going to add up throughout the month."