Bath's New Clean Air Zone

Everything you need to know about Bath’s new Clean Air Zone as a visitor

27 March 2021

Bath’s new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has officially come into force – but what does that mean for visitors to the city? 

Let’s take a look at what you need to know if you’re planning a visit to Bath in 2021. 

What is the Bath Clean Air Zone? 

The new CAZ stretches across the whole of Bath city centre, including Bathwick, Walcot and Kingsmead. The aim of the zone is to improve air quality in the city, by driving down emissions caused by some of the most polluting road vehicles. Hopefully, it should soon make the city centre safer and even more pleasant to spend time in.  

It’s all part of a nationwide effort to improve air quality and nudge the UK towards its emissions targets, by introducing clean air zones across England. Bath is the first city outside London to try it, but other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and neighbouring Bristol all have CAZs in the works.  

How the Bath CAZ works

The Bath Clean Air Zone requires vehicles that don’t meet the required emission standards to pay a daily charge for entering the area. Drivers will need to declare they have entered the CAZ and pay the required charge. This ranges from just £9 for a smaller vehicle, through to £100 per day for coaches and buses. 

Although the onus is on the driver to self-report and pay the charge, Bath and & North East Somerset Council will also be checking up. The council is installing automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras on all the routes leading up to the zone. The CAZ rules apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The revenue from the scheme will go towards investing in sustainable transport solutions for Bath. 

Will my vehicle be charged to drive in Bath city centre? 

If you’re visiting Bath in a private car or motorcycle, you won’t have to pay any charges to enter the CAZ. These kinds of private vehicles are exempt, regardless of emissions. 

The charges primarily apply to buses, coaches, minibuses, trucks, lorries, taxis and private hire vehicles. If these vehicles don’t meet emissions standards (Euro 6 Diesel, Euro 4 Petrol, electric or hybrid), they will be charged. 

However, you may have to pay the charge if you drive a campervan, motorhome or van into the city centre, if the vehicle doesn’t meet the scheme’s emissions standards. You can still of course drive into the CAZ, but you’ll need to pay the £9 daily charge. 

How to pay the CAZ charge

If your vehicle is chargeable under the Bath CAZ, here’s what you need to do to pay the daily fee:

  1. Head to the GOV.UK vehicle checker and enter your vehicle’s registration number
  2. The checker tool will tell you if you need to pay, or if you need to log an exemption
  3. You can pay by credit or debit card.

You can pay your charge up to 6 days in advance of your journey, or on the day. It’s up to you, but you must pay within 7 days of entering the CAZ or you could face a fine. 

Remember, if you’re visiting Bath by car, all of our beautiful city centre holiday properties come with a convenient parking permit or private parking space. Take a look here and find the perfect place to stay.