Can I Drive in Bath's Clean Air Zone (CAZ)?
Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was implemented to address the city’s air pollution. Owners or drivers of hire vehicles may need to pay a fee to drive in the CAZ. For private vehicles, there won’t be any fees in Bath, however, charges may apply in other zones. It’s important to check first whether you will need to pay a fee or not.
Will I be Charged to Drive in the CAZ?
You only have to pay a fee to drive in the CAZ of Bath if your vehicle doesn’t meet the required emission standards. You may check this by visiting the government website where you can use the vehicle registration checker. Through this service, you will know whether a national exemption is applied.
You will need your vehicle’s registration number, and if you’ll be paying the fee for just one vehicle, you’re going to need a debit or credit card. For businesses, you may use the vehicle registration checker by creating an account, registering your company name and email address, and providing a spreadsheet of the registration numbers of your vehicles. For payment, businesses can pay by bank, debit or credit card.
What are the Required Emission Standards?
The following vehicles meet the required emission standards:
- Hybrid vehicles
- Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
- Fully electric vehicles
- Euro 4 petrol vehicles or newer
- Euro 6 diesel vehicles
If you’re driving any of the following vehicles into Bath’s CAZ, you will have to pay a fee:
- Euro 1 to 5 diesel vehicles or older
- Euro 1 to 3 petrol vehicles or older
How Much Do I Need to Pay to Drive in the CAZ?
Bath’s CAZ operates 24/7 all year round. Below are the fees for the corresponding vehicle types:
- £9/ day for campervans, pick-ups, LGVs, vans, minibuses, private hire vehicles, and higher-emission taxis
- £100/ day for HGVs, coaches, and higher-emission buses
- For private heavy goods vehicles such as motorhomes and large, higher-emission horse transporters, there is a reduced rate of £9/ day but the vehicle should be registered in Bath and North East Somerset Council for a minimum of 14 days before the journey. If not, then the charge is £100.
How can I Pay for the Charge?
If you have determined that your vehicle will be charged with a fee to drive to Bath’s CAZ, you need to pay within 7 days of driving in the CAZ. If you fail to pay the fee, then you will receive a notice for a penalty charge. Exempt journeys, as well as discounts, can be managed through the North East Somerset Council’s MiPermit website or app.
Drivers who are affected by the CAZ charges can check the website of the council to see the list of local exemptions, such as special vehicles. They might be eligible to get financial support so they can update their vehicles. Interest-free finance or grants are available for those who are affected by the charges regularly.
Through financial support, they can replace their non-compliant vehicles. If you regularly drive in Bath’s CAZ, you may apply for a grant of financing. Also, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this support scheme also aims to provide additional assistance to some businesses.
Is Bath’s Clean Air Zone Necessary?
The implementation of Bath’s Clean Air Zone aims to help the city meet the air quality legislation of the UK. There are a number of places in Bath that are currently exceeding the legally allowed limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution.
This pollution is caused mainly by petrol and diesel vehicles. Such a situation cannot persist because poor air quality is a major contributor to health issues locally, and environmental problems globally.
Over 12,000 people in Bath and North East Somerset suffer from respiratory afflictions such as asthma. High concentrations of nitrogen dioxide can trigger asthma attacks. Not only that, but it can also cause poor lung development among children, and older people are more likely to suffer from heart attacks and dementia.
Bath is currently not charging a fee for private vehicles. However, the council is actively looking for opportunities to improve public transport and also encouraging people to walk or cycle around the city to help reduce pollution.