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Car drivers will not be charged to enter Bath

Some areas in Bath have NO2 levels that currently exceeds EU and national limits. Credit: ITV News West Country

Car drivers will not be charged for entering Bath’s Clean Air Zone after the plans were thrown out by councillors.

Bath and North East Somerset Council had initially suggested charging all higher emission vehicles - including cars - a sum of £9 to enter the city centre from 2020.

But at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (March 5), councillors agreed to make car drivers exempt.

Car drivers will not be charged to enter Bath's Clean Air Zone.

Instead, taxis, buses, coaches, lorries and vans will pay the levy - which the council hopes will lead to a reduction in the city’s nitrogen dioxide levels.

£9
Charge for higher emission, non-compliant cars, taxis and LGVs/vans
£100
Charge for higher emission, non-compliant buses, coaches and HGVs

This is a really important day for the city. Over the years there has been a lot of talk about air quality and I am delighted that at last we have made some big decisions on this extremely important issue.

It has taken many months to reach this point and it has not been easy however I believe we have struck the right balance and are now in a position to start to cut harmful pollutants and make our beautiful city clean and green for everyone.

– Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods

The council voted on two options for charging; class D which would have charged all higher emission vehicles, including cars, to drive in the city centre and class C, which excluded polluting cars from the fee.

They invited members of the public to have their say on the proposals, which resulted in a record number of responses.

The aim of the charge is to cut pollution levels by 2021.

What does this mean for driving in Bath city centre?

The class C option, which councillors have now approved, will see the reduction of traffic into Gay Street, which would otherwise exceed the legally permitted nitrogen dioxide threshold.

Traffic management measures at Queen Square, with new traffic lights at the junctions with the A367 Chapel Row/ Princes Street and at Queen Square Place, will also be introduced.

B&NES Council say the traffic management schemes will be removed once compliance is achieved and vehicle emissions improve.