Clean Air Zone proposals set out for Bath & North East Somerset

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Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) has drawn up a shortlist for three options for new emission controls in the region.

B&NES said it is one of 28 councils which has been told to achieve compliance with NO2 limits ‘in the shortest time possible,’ and by 2021 at the latest. In order to achieve this, it is establishing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
The council has said it wants to keep the CAZ small, to reduce air pollution across the city with the least impact on residents and the economy. This zone in the centre of Bath, including the highly polluted London Road, has been designed to discourage road users driving along nearby roads as ‘rat runs.’

The three options the council is considering are:

  • Class B: where higher emission buses, coaches, private hires, taxis and HGVs will be charged when driving through the zone;
  • Class C: which includes light goods vans along with the vehicles included in Class B; and
  • Class D: which includes all of the above along with higher-emission cars.

In all cases, there will be several exemptions. These are petrol vehicles with Euro 4 or newer emission ratings, diesel vehicles with Euro 6 emission rating, fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and vehicles with the disabled passenger tax class. Vehicle not meeting these exemptions will be charged to enter the CAZ.

Further non-charging measures are also proposed. These include a ‘sunset provision’ for Euro 5 diesel vehicles allowing the vehicles to be changed, improved public transport facilities including bus priority, a review of taxi licencing policy and reducing parking permit costs for low-emission vehicles.

The council said it will reach a decision on the final package of measures by December 2018.