New car tax changes will be introduced across Bath from Monday in new Clean Air Zone

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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New daily Clean Air Zone charges come into effect from Monday in the first city congestion charge to be introduced outside London. Bath and North East Somerset Council has confirmed private vehicles will not be charged under the new scheme.

Who will pay charges?

Daily charges of £9 will come into effect for those who drive a van, light goods vehicles or pick-up truck.

Campervans, minibuses, taxis and private hire vehicles will also be issued a £9 daily fee if they enter the fee.

Meanwhile, private heavy goods vehicles such as transporters and motorhomes will face a £100 daily fee.

Trucks and lorries will also face the heavier fee alongside coaches and buses when the scheme launches within days.

Will I face a fine?

Drivers who have travelled in Bath’s Clean Air Zone but failed to pay a charge could face a penalty charge notice.

This is set at a £120 fine in addition to any outstanding charge which needs to be paid.

Drivers can receive a discount and will only pay a £60 charge if they pay the bill within 14 days.

However, the penalty notice must be paid within 28 days from when the notice was served.

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How to get an exemption or discount?

Bath and North East Somerset Council say drivers do not need to apply for an exemption if they own a private car or their vehicles already meet the required emission standards.

However, they warn owners may be able to obtain a national or local exemption.

Local exemptions must be applied for up to 14 days ahead of their journey in the zone and until their exemption is approved.

The council has confirmed discounts could apply for owners of larger motorhomes and horse transporters which are private heavy goods vehicles.

Exemptions will also be considered for hard to replace vehicles or cafes used to support health and emergency services or vulnerable groups.

Temporary exemptions will also apply to any drivers who have placed an order for a fully electric car.

Why is the charge being introduced?

Bath and North East Somerset Council said the charge is being introduced to help the city meet its UK air quality legislation.

They said several places in the city currently exceed the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide which has led to a new charge to be introduced.

In 2017, the government directed Bath to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide with a charging zone becoming the only measure which could achieve compliance in the necessary time frame.

Is the charge valid 24 hours a day?

Yes, daily charges will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week from midnight to midnight, 

Drivers can enter or leave the zone multiple times in one day and still pay the same charge. 

However, if you drive across two days – such as between 11pm and 1am – drivers will need to pay two charges. 

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