Bath has big plans to go green in 202116th February 2021
If you’re planning a visit to Bath in 2021 or beyond, you’re likely to notice a few changes. The city has big plans for cleaner air, active travel and reduced traffic, which could eventually see Bath challenge rival Bristol for the crown of greenest city in the southwest.
Here’s what’s on the sustainable agenda for Bath this year…
Clean Air Zone launches this March
A new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will be officially introduced in Bath city centre on Monday 15th March 2021. The aim of the scheme is to reduce emissions and improve air quality, by charging the most polluting vehicles to enter the CAZ.
Private cars (including motorbikes) won’t be charged to drive into the city centre, but a number of other vehicles will. These include higher emission taxis and private hire vehicles, vans, LGVs, HGVS, motorhomes and minibuses. It is expected that most pre-euro 4 petrol and pre-euro 6 diesel vehicles of these types will have to pay the CAZ charge.
Charges will be daily and apply 24/7, varying in amount depending on the vehicle type.
Speaking to Bath Echo about the new CAZ, details of which are on the council’s website, Councillor Joanna Wright said:
“We can all do something to improve air quality in the city.
“While charges in the zone only apply to commercial and larger vehicles, we’re appealing to everyone to change their travel habits, particularly when Covid restrictions hopefully lift later in the year as people are vaccinated and the pressure on the NHS reduces.
“That could be using the park and ride, taking the bus, or walking or cycling more – particularly on the school run and for shorter trips across the city. To reduce the harmful levels of NO2 in Bath, we’re asking everyone to do their bit.”
Consultation opens on sustainable transport plan
In another sustainable travel initiative, Bath and North East Somerset Council is asking local residents to give their thoughts on a major new consultation. It relates to the Bath Transport Delivery Action Plan, which will shape transport in Bath over the next decade.
The aim of the plan is to support more walking and cycling across the city, tackling congestion, improving air quality and health overall. The consultation is open until 1st March 2021. All the details are available here.
Bath to get its first Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
In line with other cities across the UK, the council is currently drawing up plans for Bath’s first Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). It claims there is great interest and enthusiasm from many residents for the plan, which would see selected residential streets restricted to through traffic. The aim is to create ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ which encourage active travel while at the same time discouraging ‘rat-running’ and car use for short journeys.
Residents will still be able to access their properties by car, but modal filters (which can even be designed by locals as planters or mini ‘parklets’) will prevent motorists cutting through to avoid congestion or traffic lights elsewhere.
Many of Bath’s big green plans are in their early stages, but it’s exciting to imagine the ultra-sustainable city it could soon become!
Keep an eye on the Bath Holiday Rentals blog for all the latest events and news in Bath.