Bristol, UK Signs Off on Diesel Ban, Leaving Thousands With Second-class Cars

Following similar moves by select German cities and other jurisdictions, the UK city of Bristol has become the first municipality in that country to approve a diesel ban, with fines set to be levelled against anyone caught entering the city with a non-spark engine. Amazingly, this motley crew of second-class vehicles includes transit buses.

The decision by Bristol city council wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing, nor was it entirely its decision to make. With some of the highest nitrogen oxide levels in the country, Bristol had been ordered from on high to “do something” — and when you ask politicians to do something, and do it right now, they usually come down with a hammer.

As the quickest way to alleviate smog is to get rid of its sources, council approved a ban on diesel-powered vehicles in the city core (“central ban zone”) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with anyone caught violating the perimeter hit with a nine-pound fine, BBC reports. Pending federal approval (the UK government will require legislation to make the ban legal), the ban is expected to go into effect in 2021.