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Bath clean air zone: what to know

June 07, 2023 by

Want to know more about Bath’s Clean Air Zone? You’ve come to the right place

Bath, like many cities in the UK, has introduced a Clean Air Zone, or CAZ, as part of a Government-led initiative to improve air quality in urban areas that sees drivers of certain vehicles charged a fee for entering specific areas.

But what is the Bath Clean Air Zone, what are the rules for the Bath CAZ, and do you have to pay to drive into the zone? This article will address these questions, and more.

Bath Clean Air Zone map

Bath’s Clean Air Zone covers a small area of the city centre, reaching north up to Walcot and the start of the A4, south to Churchill Bridge and the Lower Bristol Road (both of which are encompassed by the zone), stretching west to Royal Victoria Park, and east as far as Bathwick.

Signs indicating the start of the CAZ are white, with black text and a green cloud image.

What vehicles have to pay the Bath Clean Air Zone charge?

Unlike London’s ULEZ and Bristol’s CAZ, Bath’s Clean Air Zone does not see drivers of private cars and motorcycles charged to enter the zone.

Instead, the Bath Clean Air Zone targets vans, taxis, buses and lorries that don’t meet certain emissions standards.

As with ULEZ, Bath’s CAZ uses European emission standards to determine whether the driver of a non-compliant vehicle has to pay to enter the zone.

Vans, taxis and minibuses tend to be classed according to a different set of emission standards to lorries and buses, with smaller vehicles having to meet Euro 6 standards if they run on diesel, and Euro 4 or later if they run on petrol to avoid being changed to enter Bath’s CAZ.

Emission standards were introduced over time, so there is no hard and fast rule with regard to a vehicle’s age and its compliance, but as a rough rule of thumb diesel vans and taxis first registered from late 2015 onwards should meet the CAZ standards, while petrol taxis and vans first registered from 2006 should escape the charge.

Lorry and bus/coach emission standards are different, but such vehicles built prior to 2014, when Euro VI rules were brought in, are likely to attract the CAZ fee.

Aside from ULEZ, Clean Air Zones are managed by central Government, so head to the Gov website to check if your vehicle is compliant.

How much is the Bath Clean Air Zone charge?

How much you need to pay to enter the Bath CAZ varies depending on what type of vehicle you’re in.

Non-compliant taxis, minibuses and vans attract a £9 daily charge, while drivers of non-compliant coaches, buses, trucks and Lorries have to pay a £100 daily fee to enter the zone, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Motorhomes and horse transporters weighing over 3.5 tonnes attract a £100 charge, too.

How to pay the Bath Clean Air Zone charge

If you need to pay the Bath CAZ you should head to the Government’s website to do so.

The daily charge starts at midnight, so if you enter the zone at 23:45 and leave it at 00:15 you will need to pay two fees.

Fail to pay a due fee and you will receive a penalty of £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Do I have to pay the Bath Clean Air Zone charge?

If your vehicle is one of the types listed above and you enter the zone you will have to pay, but exemptions do exist.

Exemptions can be national or local, with national ones being automatically applied and covering military and historic vehicles, as well as certain agriculture vehicles and ones retrofitted with exhaust treatment systems.

Bath and North East Somerset Council also offers its own exemptions.

If you have a motorhome or horse transporter and do not use these for commercial purposes you can apply for an exemption that reduces the £100 daily charge to £9. Emergency-service vehicles are also exempt.

You need to apply for local exemptions, and this can be done on the council’s website.

Exemptions used to be offered for wheelchair accessible vehicles and Blue Badge holders, but these ceased to be offered in March 2023.

Can I appeal a Bath Clean Air Zone charge?

If you think you have been fined incorrectly for driving into Bath’s CAZ you can challenge it up to 28 days after it was issued.

Head to Bath and North East Somerset Council’s website to challenge a penalty. If you challenge it within 14 days and the challenge is rejected you will only have to pay the reduced £60 fine.

Is there any financial support to adapt or replace a vehicle so it’s compliant?

Bath and North East Somerset Council used to offer financial assistance to help people replace non-compliant vehicles, with up to £4,500 offered for non-compliant taxis and vans, up to £20,000 for non-compliant lorries, and up to £35,000 for buses and coaches.

After funding almost 1,000 people replace their vehicles, though, grant applications were closed in September 2022.