Will you have to pay?

Businesses in Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to check if emission charges will apply to their vehicles ahead of the launch of Bath’s Clean Air Zone.

The Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will not charge private cars, is being introduced to urgently improve air quality in the city. It was due to be switched on in November but has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and a new launch date is expected to be agreed shortly.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has begun writing to all registered businesses in the district to ask them to check their vehicles online at www.bathnes.gov.uk/checkyourvehicle and explain how they can get financial support to upgrade their fleet if needed.

If charges do apply, businesses could be eligible for the council’s financial assistance scheme to help them upgrade to compliant vehicles or could qualify for a range of exemptions.

The council will also be calling companies by telephone wherever possible to make sure they are aware of the CAZ, help them assess the impact on their businesses and offer an appointment with a travel and transport advisor.

The CAZ will operate in the city centre 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Charges will apply to pre-euro 6/VI diesel and pre-euro 4 petrol vehicles, except private cars and motorbikes.

Councillor Sarah Warren, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency, said: “Now is a really good time to check your vehicles against Bath’s new emission standards to see whether charges will apply. It’s quick and easy to do the check online and you’ll be getting a letter from us to encourage you to do this at the earliest opportunity. We’ll also be giving you a call to make sure you’re aware of the financial assistance and exemptions available. 

“We are also mindful of the fact that many businesses are currently adapting to new and challenging conditions due to lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic. If this applies to you, as well as asking for help from one of our CAZ travel advisors you can get support from our business teams. Visit www.investinbath.co.uk for more details.”

CAZ charges only apply to non-compliant HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, LGVs and vans including pick-ups and campers. Private cars and motorbikes will not be charged, regardless of their emission standard. 

There is also a range of exemptions available, including a means-tested exemption for businesses that are eligible and have applied for the financial assistance scheme but are unsuccessful in their application.

For full details on the CAZ, visit  www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathCAZ