Bristol becomes the first city in the UK to completely ban diesel cars.

BRISTOL is set to become the UK's first city to ban all diesel vehicles in a bid to improve air quality.

Privately-owned diesel vehicles will be banned from entering a central area of the city between 7am and 3pm every day.

 Bristol will become the UK's first city to ban diesel vehicles from its city centre

Bristol will become the UK's first city to ban diesel vehicles from its city centreCredit: AP:Associated Press

Bristol City Council voted on Tuesday to introduce the restrictions across the city from 2021.

The council has also adopted a wider charging zone for commercial vehicles which don't meet specific emissions standards, with vans and taxis facing a £9 fee and HGVs facing a £100 charge.

A car scrappage scheme to help diesel car owners buy a more environmentally friendly vehicle is set to be introduced as a part of the ban.

Drivers who ignore the restrictions would be fined using similar cameras which have been installed across London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which came into action in April this year.

 Drivers in Bristol would be fined if caught driving a diesel in the city centre

Drivers in Bristol would be fined if caught driving a diesel in the city centreCredit: Getty - Contributor

The cameras are able to read number plates and check if the vehicle meets the set standard.

The council is yet to decided on how much diesel drivers will be fined for driving through the restriction zone.

The vote is subject to government approval, following consultation with local residents and businesses.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: "We have a moral, we have an ecological and we have a legal duty to clean up the air we breathe.

"These ambitious plans demonstrate our commitment to tackling air pollution so we meet legal limits within the shortest time, without disproportionately affecting citizens on lower incomes which would happen with a blanket approach to charging vehicles.

"Protecting the most vulnerable people from pollution is central to these plans and we have ensured that all impacts have been carefully considered."

But not everyone is pleased with the ban, with some motoring experts hitting out at it.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: "We recognise that efforts must be made to clean up the city’s air but as things stand, the impact of the proposals published today on people who currently drive diesel vehicles would be unprecedented.

"Major routes into, out of, and even around the city – like Temple Way and Brunel Way – would become out of bounds, with diesel vehicles forced onto other roads, which risks causing congestion problems where they don’t exist at the moment."

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