We want to hear your thoughts on our plans to introduce a charge for Euro 6 diesel HGVs entering the charging zone in Bath.
We are proposing to introduce a charge of £50 for all Class N3 Euro 6 diesel HGVs entering the existing charging zone. Charges would apply for 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Non-compliant Class N3 Euro 5 diesel HGVs are currently charged £100 to enter the Clean Air Zone (CAZ). We decided that a proposal of a significantly lower £50 charge for Class N3 Euro 6 HGVs would act as an incentive to use a more efficient vehicle while also protecting our road infrastructure and conserving our World Heritage Site, as well as helping to manage congestion on our busiest roads.
We feel it is important to establish a charge-based distinction between Euro 5 and Euro 6. If Euro 5 and Euro 6 were both charged £100 for entering the zone, there would be no incentive to use a more efficient, less polluting vehicle.
We conducted a feasibility assessment which estimated that more than 80% of HGV trips will be unaffected by this change.
We recognise and appreciate the fleet improvements many owners and operators of heavier HGVs have made in response to the existing CAZ.
In order to protect small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and their supply chains who may have recently invested in Class N3 Euro 6 diesel HGVs, our proposed charging system would include time-limited local exemptions.
Any HGV operators based within designated postal codes would be exempt from charges for a period of two years. You can view the charging zone and local exemption area on a map
The proposed local exemptions will be shaped by your responses to this consultation, and we will ensure a period of ‘soft enforcement’ to support those adjusting to the proposed new charges. Any exemptions would complement the existing exemptions for hybrid, electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles.
When considering the proposed local exemptions, our feasibility assessment shows that 70 to 100 chargeable Euro 6 N3 HGVs could be impacted per day by the charge. We will continue to monitor the accuracy of this estimate in light of the re-opening of Cleveland Bridge and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
We acknowledge that the delivery of products by heavy freight is critical to the success of many businesses within the city. However, we need to manage the movement of such vehicles for the protection of our World Heritage status (historic buildings and road infrastructure including features of significance, like the Grade II* listed Cleveland Bridge) and to improve the lives of those living within the charging area.
We will continue to work closely with operators and trade associations to ensure we strike a balance between the impacts of this policy development and the economic vitality of Bath and the wider region.
We are not proposing the new Euro 6 HGV charge to raise revenue. We are using the current CAZ Charging Order as a purely legal mechanism to allow us to introduce a local charge, distinct from existing CAZ charges and unrelated to the national Clean Air Zone Framework.
By varying the Charging Order so that all Class N3 Euro 6 diesel HGVs become chargeable under the scheme, we hope that the owners and operators of these heavier HGVs will consider redistributing any existing hybrid, electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles in their fleets into Bath instead. We also hope that this change will further encourage the uptake of alternatives to diesel-fuelled HGVs.