Bath clean air zone

28 February 2019, 14:18 | Updated: 28 February 2019, 14:19


Cars could be exempt from being charged to drive in the proposed clean air zone in Bath.

Two options will be revealed in a report next week to reduce high levels of air pollution in the city, which the Government says must happen by 2021 at the latest.

The cabinet of Bath and North East Somerset Council will also discuss financial and practical support for businesses and residents to upgarde their vehicles and a one-year free park and ride scheme aimed at low-income households, families with children and regular commuters. Extending opening hours at the park and ride sites including secure overnight parking is also being considered.

Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods said: ''While a great deal of work has gone into the technical modelling for a charging clean air zone an equal amount of time has been spent looking at the package of measures that we could introduce to help our residents and businesses manage this significant change.

''Views from the consultation have also helped shape these measures and we are now making a request to government for the funding we need to help make this happen. These support packages apply to both options being considered and are part of a much broader and long-term approach that we need to take to ensure a cleaner and greener city for future generations.''

Councillor Mark Shelford, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, added: ''As well as the proposed package of measures around the zone we are looking at other ways to help people out of their high-polluting vehicles, while balancing the need for a vibrant local economy, for example we are making progress with the West of England Combined Authority on a potential mass transit system between Bath and Bristol.

''However there is no silver bullet and I want to encourage experimentation using creative and imaginative solutions. Already we have secured funding for more electric charging points for taxis and are developing an on-street electric charging policy. There are also plans for improvements for walking and cycling routes including electric cycle charging.

''As well as proposed improvements to park and ride, the good news for public transport is additional funding has been secured to pay for the retrofitting of older buses to ensure a compliant fleet.

''Having seen our school children take to the streets recently to protest about their future and the future of the environment these steps are just the start of a greater change that we each have responsibility for and which starts with the need for cleaner air.''