Charging Clean Air Zone in Bath approved

Bath & North East Somerset Council has provided the final green light for a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for central Bath, which will now launch at the start of November.

Cabinet members approved the final business case for the charging Clean Air Zone, which will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 367 days a year and will see charges of £100 per day for higher emission buses, coaches and HGVs, as well as £9 per day for higher emission taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, LGVs and vans to drive in the zone.

The final business case will now be submitted to the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit for approval in February. This includes a request for a further £4.1 million to install the scheme at a total cost of £10 million after £5.95 million was advanced to the council for its design and development), and a significant bid for £14.2 million of capital to fund the desired support and mitigations.

Limited exemptions and concessions have been approved to support drivers of some non-compliant vehicles delivering important services, or with very hard-to-replace vehicles. These include organisations that provide community-based education, health or social care services, the emergency services and blue badge holders.

Work to install the zone will now start in earnest with the aim of launching the zone on 4 November.

Sarah Warren, cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “The aim of the charging zone is to urgently reduce high levels of NO2 pollution at several hotspots in the city, and create a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone who lives and works here. It’s particularly good news for asthma sufferers as exposure to high levels of NO2 can trigger attacks.

“We’ll see air quality improvements by 2021 at the latest, and the vehicle fleet improvements and changing habits that we expect to see as a result of the zone will mark a significant step in our journey towards tackling the climate emergency across the area.”

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