• FOLLOW ACFO
  • Twitter
  • LinkdIn

Bath consider congestion charge to cut air pollution

Bath consider congestion charge to cut air pollution

  Bath could become the first city outside of London to charge motorists to drive into the city centre.

  Three potential options for charging high-emission vehicles to drive into the centre of Bath are under review by Bath and North East Somerset Council.  

Along with 27 other authorities the Council is required by government to take action in the shortest possible time and by 2021 at the latest as part of the National Air Quality Action Plan.  

No decisions have been made, but the council is legally bound to reach a decision on a preferred package of measures by December and it is seeking people’s views on the three measures, which include a range of other solutions to encourage ‘greener’ modes of travel designed to improve air quality in addition to charging.  

The first option includes charging buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which are pre‐Euro 4 petrol and pre‐Euro 6 diesel to enter the city centre; a second option extends the list of vehicles to include light good vehicles (LGVs) which were pre‐Euro 4 petrol and pre‐Euro 6 diesel; and a third option extends the list of vehicles to include cars which were pre‐Euro 4 petrol and pre‐Euro 6 diesel.
 

Vehicles meeting Euro 4 petrol and Euro 6 diesel emission standards would be exempt from city centre entry charges as would electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Details about costs, charging hours and which groups of high-emission vehicles would be affected will be modelled and considered following a series of public events being held over the coming months.  

Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for development and neighbourhoods, said: “There is no doubt the air pollution has an adverse impact on people’s health. Like many councils up and down the country we have to address these NO2 levels and we have do to that in the shortest possible time and by 2021 at the latest.
 

“We want to strike a balance with a package that can deliver the most benefit to local people in terms of improved air quality, with the least impact on residents and the economy within the deadline to reduce NO2.
 

“We are legally bound to reduce levels of N02 in line with the government’s requirements. As such, one of the three options for a Clean Air Zone would involve charging certain types of cars to drive into the centre of Bath, whilst the other two options would only affect other types of vehicles such as HGVs, buses, coaches and taxis.  As these three options illustrate, it may be possible for us to achieve the required air quality improvements without the need to charge cars, however further detailed work has to be done before a final package is agreed later this year.”