What does Bath’s Clean Air Zone mean for Commercial Vehicle Drivers?
Bath & North East Somerset Council introduced their Clean Air Zone on the 15th of March, which is now operational across the city.
Although it’s been a hot topic in the press, as more and more councils look to introduce these zones across the UK; van and truck operators need to understand exactly what these changes will mean for them.
Where does Bath’s Clean Air Zone operate?
The zone covers the city centre and reaches the outskirts of Royal Victoria Park at its furthest point East, across to Bathwick and Widcombe and runs just south of Lower Bristol Road.
What happens if I drive my van or truck into Bath’s Clean Air Zone?
Depending on your vehicle’s emission standards, you may have to pay a daily charge for entering the zone.
Older petrol and diesel vehicles (pre Euro 6/VI for Diesel and pre Euro 4/IV for petrol) will class as non-compliant and a daily charge will apply.
How do I ensure I can drive into Bath’s Clean Air Zone with no charge?
Only compliant vans and trucks will not be charged to drive into the zone. Compliant vehicles are as follows:
- Euro 6/VI diesel vehicles (or newer)
- Euro 4/IV petrol vehicles (or newer)
- Fully electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
- All hybrid vehicles
- Modified or retrofitted vehicles registered with the Energy Saving Trust’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
What are the options if my van or truck doesn’t comply?
If your van or truck isn’t compliant, you have three options:
- Pay the daily charge
- Upgrade your vehicle to a CAZ compliant model
- Adapt your existing vehicle to make it compliant
What are the charges for non-compliant vehicles?
For non-compliant vans, LCVs, pickups and campervans, the charge for driving into the zone is £9 per day. This increases to £100 per day for non-compliant HGVs.
When do the charges apply?
Daily charges within the Clean Air Zone apply 24 hours a day (midnight to midnight), 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Within a given day, you can drive in and out of the zone as many times as you want and will only pay one charge.
However, if you drive in the zone across two days (overnight for example), you will need to pay two daily charges.
Charges do not apply if a vehicle is parked in the zone but does not move.
I’m a business operating within Bath’s CAZ, do I qualify for an exemption?
There are some exemptions for entering the zone. These include health and emergency services vehicles, vulnerable community groups, hard to replace vehicles and for those road users who quality under the Financial Assistance Scheme.
There are also financial incentives (grants and interest free finance) available to support with upgrading your van or truck.
What financial support is available?
Financial grants and interest free finance is available to support businesses that regularly travel into Bath’s Clean Air Zone and need to upgrade their vehicles. This support can be used to upgrade your van or truck to a cleaner, more compliant one or to adapt your existing vehicle to meet the standards.
This may mean that upgrading/adapting your fleet could be more cost-effective than paying the daily charge.
What’s more, once you’ve ordered your replacement vehicle, you will be able to apply for an exemption for driving your existing vehicle into the zone until your replacement has been received.
How much financial support can I get?
Grants are available up to 35% of the net upgrade cost. This is the cost excluding any additional options and/or discounts from the manufacturer/dealer.
Grants are capped, as below:
- Taxis, PHVs and vans: up to £4,500
- HGVs: up to £20,000
- Buses and coaches: up to £35,000
You will need to register your interest in participating in the scheme and then prove that you drive your vehicle into the zone at least 2 days a week by installing one of their telematics (tracking) devices for two months. A report will then be produced to show whether you’re eligible to receive financial support.
During this time, you will be exempt from paying the daily charge.
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