This month’s B&NES cabinet meeting is going to consider proposals to vary Bath’s Clean Air Zone Charging Order which could result in Euro VI HGVs over 12 tonnes that enter the charging scheme being charged.
Councillors will also be asked to agree a public consultation on the introduction of a charge for Class N3 Euro VI diesel HGVs together with associated local exemptions.
If agreed, the Order would be varied to introduce a £50 charge for Class N3 Euro VI diesel HGVs that enter the charging scheme area. This is lower than the existing charge of £100 for non-compliant Class N3 Euro V diesel HGVs and below, in recognition of the need to strike a balance between encouraging further improvements in the HGV fleet and operators sending older, higher polluting HGVs into the city.
This would be a local charge, sitting outside the national Clean Air Zone Framework, to support the council’s aims of going further to improve local air quality, reduce vehicular demand on road space, protect the amenity of the Bath World Heritage Site setting, and respond to the climate and ecological emergencies. HGVs weighing under 12 tonnes would be unaffected by this variation.
A report before cabinet says considerable fleet improvements have already been made by owners and operators of heavier HGVs in response to the CAZ and in recognition of this, and with a view to protecting local small and medium-sized businesses and their supply chains, the proposed charging mechanism would be supported by a suite of time-limited local exemptions, based on feedback from the proposed public consultation.
There would also be a period of soft enforcement to help embed the change. These exemptions would complement the existing exemptions for hybrid, electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: ”The Clean Air Zone is part of a package of measures we’ve introduced to improve Bath’s air quality and it is making a difference. Varying the zone’s Charging Order would help us make further progress, not only in the quality of air we breathe but also on tackling congestion in our World Heritage City and around the Grade II* Cleveland Bridge. However, varying the Order has to be balanced with support for business which means working with fleet owners as part of a proposed consultation, if this report is approved by cabinet.”
Implementing variations to the Order is one of a package of measures set out within the council’s Journey to Net Zero policy that could contribute to improving local air quality and tackling congestion, whilst also preserving the World Heritage status of the city.
The report before cabinet which meets on 10 November follows a decision taken by the council’s cabinet in December 2021 asking for a feasibility assessment on varying the Bath Clean Air Zone (CAZ) Charging Order 2021 so that all Euro VI HGVs over 12 tonnes become chargeable under the scheme for the benefit of air quality and the amenity of the CAZ area, including the Grade II* Cleveland Bridge and the wider Bath World Heritage Site setting.
You can watch the cabinet meeting on our Youtube