Polluters pay more

smoke coming from the exhaust pipes

If you are not sure, you’d better check your vehicle’s emissions, as September 8th will see the start of vehicle emission-based parking charges in council-owned car parks in Bath as part of the continuing drive to improve air quality in the city centre.

The new variable charging structure will only affect motorists with more polluting vehicles, with. many drivers not seeing any change in the price they pay. 

The price of parking will depend on vehicle emissions, in line with the bands used for DVLA vehicle exercise duty. Drivers of non-diesel vehicles with emissions below 131g/km will not see prices increase. More polluting vehicles, like diesel vehicles, will now pay a higher rate.

Motorists can check their vehicle’s emissions on the Government’s website, but do not need to know their vehicle emissions or engine size when paying for their stay.

The new charges aim to incentivise motorists with more polluting vehicles to use more sustainable alternatives when visiting the city centre, like Park & Ride, and encourage a shift to public transport, walking, wheeling and cycling. 

Emission-based parking charges have been introduced at numerous local authorities throughout the country, however Bath & North East Somerset Council are the only local authority continuing to offer its customers a cash payment option, providing payment flexibility and making it easier to pay for stays.  

The council is replacing all of its existing car park parking payment terminals in Bath and customers will have the choice to pay via MiPermit, cash or card. Customers will need to input the details of their vehicle registration plate so their charge can be automatically calculated. 

The council is replacing signage in its car parks to reflect the new charging structure and is advising customers to check this signage when paying for their stays.  

The new emission-based charge tariff can be seen on the council’s consultation webpage, and will be published on the council’s parking and travel webpages when they go live.

In a recent public consultation carried out by the council, more than half of the 1,692 responses voiced concerns about air quality and felt the council should do more to tackle air pollution.

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport said: “Prices won’t change for a lot of drivers, these new charges will only affect people bringing more polluting vehicles into our city.

“This approach is being adopted across the country but we’re the only council remaining committed to offering cash payments for customers. We see it as really important to protect this.

“Our overall aim is to improve public safety by improving air quality and reducing congestion and I’d like to thank all that took part in the consultation and shared their views with us.

“Air pollution currently causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year and the consultation responses show residents are concerned about the air quality in Bath, which these changes will help improve.

“Introducing these new charges will also support our Journey to Net Zero ambitions, builds on the progress made by the Clean Air Zone.”

The emission-based charging structure will also be applied to car park season tickets, however existing season ticket holders will not see an increase in price for a 12-month period. 

Parking at the council’s three Park & Ride sites will remain free for those using the bus service, helping to encourage its use and reducing vehicle intrusion into the city. Group discounts and concessions are available. 

Foreign registered, or vehicles not registered with the DVLA, will be charged the highest price for the chosen duration. This is to encourage visitors to use sustainable alternatives such as our Park and Ride sites, and those with unregistered vehicles to adhere to the legal requirements.

Emission-based parking charges will be introduced at the following car parks:

  • Avon Street 
  • Bath Sports & Leisure Centre
  • Cattlemarket
  • Charlotte Street
  • Claverton Street
  • Green Park Road
  • Kingsmead Square
  • Manvers Street

1 Comment

  1. Contrary to their stated ‘ambitions’, and their commitments to that deliberately vague and unmeasurable goal of ‘Net Zero’, so much evidence exists that leaves me believing our Council is NOT genuinely interested in improving air quality and reducing congestion in our city.
    Example 1. Yesterday at Bog Island I stood and watched coaches parked with their diesel engines running. This was whilst the parking was being supervised by a high-viz jacketed Council worker. I asked a couple of drivers “Why?”, one said “Oh, I forgot to turn it off”, another said “Chokin’?! you’re ‘avin’ a laugh, you’re not chokin'” and the third said “To keep the air conditioning running for the return of my passengers”. Our Council could effect an easy and instant win by penalising parked vehicles with their engines running.
    Example 2. eScooters do NOT promote active travel, nor do they ease congestion. They do, however, take fare-paying passengers off public transport weakening it, and they do encourage pavement surfing and vehicle dumping.
    Example 3. I have been on poor Cllr Rigby’s case about the Cleveland Bridge deception and fiasco she was saddled with by our Planning Committee in October 2020. Our Council could cut pollution on the South and East sides of Bath AT A STROKE by curtailing A36 through-traffic and University traffic crawling over the Cleveland Bridge and through our streets. But instead they’ve chosen to go for the easy, low-hanging fruit, the poor residents and visitors that can’t afford to change their old diesel cars. So they’re milking them ferociously with this and other new ’emergency planet-saving’ initiatives.
    Finally, let’s look at their so-called ‘consultation’ on the matter. Only half of the respondents (845 people) out of a population of 109,503 people thought the Council should do more about air pollution. Does B&NES really think that gives them a mandate for this latest assault on the less-well-off motorists in Bath? So, once again, our Council’s brand of ‘consultation’ means 108,658 residents are now obliged to go along with the whims of that 845 minority, and ‘suck up’ all the transport problems they will suffer as a result.

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