Bath & North East Somerset Council is turning on cameras and installing signage to test its systems and help promote Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) ahead of the zone’s launch in March.
From today (December 1), the council is installing 140 signs in and around the clean air zone boundary in central Bath, warning drivers that CAZ charges will start from 15 March for certain vehicles. The temporary covers will then be taken off overnight on 14 March to reveal permanent signs informing drivers that they are entering a Class C Charging Clean Air Zone.
At the same time, up to 70 automatic number plate recognition cameras will be turned on so that the council can test its enforcement systems for non-compliant vehicles driving in the zone.
While daily charges will not apply until the zone is launched, owners of non-compliant vehicles driving in the zone during December and January will be informed by letter in February that their vehicle will be subject to a charge from 15 March. These early notice letters will include information on how to check their vehicle, pay the charge and apply for support to upgrade to a compliant vehicle if eligible.
In addition, from 7 December all homes and businesses in Bath and North East Somerset will receive a postcard with key information about the zone, how to check their vehicle and access the support available. The signs and early notice letters will ensure that drivers from outside the local area are also given plenty of notice.
The council continues to urge people to check whether charges will apply to their vehicle using the government’s vehicle checker at www.gov.uk/cleanairzone. All you need is your vehicle’s registration number.
From 15 March, Bath’s Clean Air Zone will operate in the centre of the city 7 days a week, 24 hours and day, all year round. Charges will not apply to private cars or motorbikes, but most other vehicles will have to pay a daily charge if they don’t meet certain emission standards.
Pre euro VI/6 diesel and pre-euro IV/4 petrol buses, coaches and HGVs will be charged £100 per day to drive in the zone, while pre euro 6 diesel/pre euro 4 petrol taxis, private hire vehicles, LGVs, vans, pick-ups, campers and minibuses will be charged £9 a day. It will be up to the driver/owner of the vehicle to check their vehicle and pay within 7 days of driving in the zone at www.gov.uk/cleanairzone or they may receive a penalty charge notice.
Air quality in Bath has been monitored since the 1990s, and there are now 120 monitoring locations across the city. Additional monitors have been installed recently to ensure that the council has good baseline data against which to measure the effectiveness of the zone. Data gathered from monitoring stations is reviewed at the end of each year, to allow annual average nitrogen dioxide concentrations to be calculated and the effectiveness of the Clean Air Zone to be assessed.
For more information, including a map, charges, how the zone will work and the support available, go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathCAZ
To check a vehicle to see if charges apply in a clean air zone, including Bath’s CAZ, go to www.gov.uk/cleanairzone