Bath & North East Somertset Council

Bath Breathes 2021

Clean Air Plan,
Bath BreATHes 2021 

Since 2002 we’ve been monitoring pollution levels at the roadside, and listening to and acting on resident’s concerns. But with more vehicles on our roads, tackling Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution is a big challenge. It's a challenge we take seriously, so we've launched a Clean Air Plan for Bath, with a view to introducing a Clean Air Charging Zone that's capable of reducing NO2 in the city by 2021 at the latest.

Health impacts

According to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, air pollution is a contributory factor to some 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year. There’s also evidence that it can cause lung damage in babies and children, and contribute to lung and heart disease in older people.

To protect the health of our residents, we need to urgently tackle the cause of Bath’s air pollution - vehicle emissions.

A Clean Air Charging Zone for Bath

To improve air quality, the Government has told 28 Councils in England – including B&NES Council – to achieve compliance with NO2 limits ‘in the shortest possible time’ and by 2021 at the latest. This is part of their National Air Quality Action Plan.

There are a number of hotspots in Bath where concentrations of NO2 (caused by vehicle emissions) exceed the acceptable national and european limit of 40 µg/m3. This means we need to take urgent action by introducing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

A Clean Air Zone is a designated area in the city where we can introduce measures to reduce vehicle emissions and cut pollution, with the aim of improving everybody's health.

Our intention is to charge higher-emission vehicles driving in the centre of the city, but air quality improvements will be felt across the whole of Bath.

The options

As part of our Clean Air Plan, the council has drawn up a shortlist of three options (or packages of measures) capable of bringing about the required improvements by 2021. Each option features a different class of Clean Air Charging Zone in the centre of Bath, alongside a range of other measures to encourage greener modes of travel.

No decisions have been made at this time, but we’re legally bound to reach a decision on a final package of measures by December 2018. We expect a CAZ to be in place in Bath by 2020.

What are the benefits?

Introducing a Clean Air Zone, along with other measures to encourage greener travel, will improve the health of those suffering from asthma and other lung and heart conditions. But it will also ensure that everyone who lives and works in the city can enjoy a cleaner, healthier and more attractive environment.

What happens next?

We’ll be examining the feasibility of each package in more detail, which includes looking at the potential impacts of each option on health, residents and the economy. There will be on-going public engagement on the clean air plan options, including what exemptions, discounts and green travel measures might help our residential and business communities. 

A CAZ in Bath will affect everyone, so please get involved.

How is this work being funded?

The Government has already provided the funds for assessing what’s required, and more Government funds will be made available to implement the work. The cost of this work will not fall to the local taxpayer.

Latest news

To keep up-to-date with our plans for a Clean Air Zone in Bath, please subscribe to our newsletter, come to our events and join the conversation on social media.


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