New Clean Air Charging Zone

(but bikes are exempt!)

Bath & North East Somerset Council are the latest to propose a city centre ‘charging zone’ in an effort to reduce pollution. The difference between this west country location and the capital of England however is that Bath & NES acknowledge that, “in Bath, diesel vehicles are the biggest contributors to NO2 pollution”. As such, those riding motorcycles and scooters will finds themselves exempt… for now.


“We’re on a mission to reduce air pollution in the fastest possible time,” state Bath & NES on their website. They continue by saying that they measure and test for different types of pollution in Bath, adding, “but we only have a problem with Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), which is caused by vehicle emissions.”

Apparently there are several locations in Bath where air pollution (specifically NO2) exceeds legal limits. Bath & NES also add that while roadside readings are high, passengers inside cars are actually exposed to up to 12 times more pollution than those outside, due to trapped fumes circulating inside the vehicle.

From this we can assume they acknowledge traffic congestion is a major cause of the problem, although slightly concerning is that they don’t mention powered-two wheelers as a solution. Instead, we get lumped in with private cars as those exempt from paying to enter Bath city centre after the council’s class C clean air zone (CAZ), goes live on 4 November 2020. Interestingly, Bath & NES add that reducing traffic congestion in certain areas is also a goal of the new proposals, which as we all know would also be a result of car commuters switching to two-wheels.

Vehicles automatically exempt from the Bath CAZ include private cars and motorcycles as well as historic, agricultural, military vehicles, emergency service and health service vehicles. Vehicles that have been modified or retrofitted to meet Bath’s minimum emission standards can be pre-registered to avoid being charged in Bath’s CAZ too.

Vans, motorhomes, taxis, mini-buses, some 4x4s, LGVs and campers will have to pay £9 per day, with buses and lorries paying £100 per day to enter Bath City Centre.

Finally, Bath & NES council ask on their website that, “If you’re embracing the challenge – such as using the park & ride or walking to school instead of taking the car – please inspire others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #CleanAir4Bath
We would add that those ’embracing the challenge’ by riding mopeds, motorcycles and scooters also use the #CleanAir4Bath hashtag to help promote powered two-wheelers as a solution rather than afterthought to the problems of congestion and pollution.

** ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine published bi-monthly. Edition 17 covers Jan/Feb 2020.
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