Is the new emission regulation a missed opportunity for the city’s bus operators? MARTIN CURTIS reports

A plan of the Clean Air Zone shown with an orange boundary. Every key entry point into the city is covered by the restrictions.
The ornate finger post at Three Lamps junction indicates where the roads to Bath and Wells divide. It is also the Zone’s entry point from the south-east. On the first day of the CAZ, Stagecoach 15769 (VX61 FKB), an Enviro400- bodied Scania, takes the A37 Wells Road while another Scania with ADL body, First 36802 (YT67 XJV) works a journey on the A4 road to Bath.

On Monday November 28, 2022, after several delays, Bristol became the latest UK city to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) as part of efforts to improve air quality.

In recent years, a number of traffic flow restrictions had already been installed around Bristol’s central area which has reduced options for driving through the heart of the city. This latest measure will further alter travel patterns.

Bristol has opted to introduce a category D zone, which is more severe than nearby Bath’s CAZ (already reported in Buses), but the city claims already 71% of vehicles travelling into Bristol meet the new requirements. This no doubt has been aided by Bristol’s largest bus operator, First, having introduced an extensive fleet of biogas powered buses in recent years while the remainder of First local buses are almost entirely Euro6 diesel powered.

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