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Class N3 Euro 6 diesel HGV charge consultation

Introduction and policy background1

Understand the context of our proposals and the existing policies that support them.

In 2017, we were directed by the government to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the city. Our research showed that a charging mechanism was the only way to achieve the target within the time frame and deter higher emission vehicles from driving in the city centre.

In the Autumn of 2018, we held a public consultation which determined that we would introduce a Class C Charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) with traffic management at Queen Square. This involved charging all higher emission vehicles, except private cars and motorcycles, to drive in Bath city centre from 15 March 2021. Read the legal explanation for the Clean Air Zone in the Bath Clean Air Zone Charging Order 2021

We are now widening the scope of improvements across the city of Bath to include work on protecting our road infrastructure, historic bridges and conserving our World Heritage Site by reducing the levels of vehicular congestion and traffic. We are intending to use the legal mechanism of the CAZ Charging Order to enable us to introduce a charge of £50 for N3 Euro 6 diesel HGVs which travel into and through the city, crossing the CAZ boundary.

While the geographical boundary of both charging schemes is the same, and the proposed £50 charge would be introduced through a variation of the CAZ Charging Order, the scheme we are consulting on is not exclusively aimed at improving air quality. Instead, if our proposals are agreed, we hope it will protect and conserve road infrastructure, including the Grade II* listed Cleveland Bridge and the wider Bath World Heritage Site's historic architecture and natural setting.

The wider council policy context

Our Corporate Strategy sets out what we as a council plan to do, how we plan to do it, and how we will measure our performance. Our main aim is to improve people's lives, and we are following two core policies to do this: tackling the climate and ecological emergencies and giving people a bigger say. This consultation addresses both of these strategies.

By responding to this consultation, you’ll get to have your say on the proposed variation of the charging order, charges and time-limited exemptions.

We have already started to tackle these issues with the following ongoing projects:

  • Providing incentives to reduce the use of more polluting vehicles in accordance with the National Air Quality Strategy
  • Reducing the effect of motor vehicles on our communities through our policy and work on Liveable Neighbourhoods
  • Continuing to develop strategies like the CAZ to support our ambitions of net zero carbon emissions by 2030
  • Implementing variations to the original Bath CAZ Charging Order as part of a package of measures aimed at:
    • tackling congestion
    • preserving the World Heritage status of the city
    • improving our air quality