Aims to continue improving air quality in Bath are being supported with the start of vehicle emission-based parking charges in council-owned car parks in Bath from September 8th.

The council is replacing signage in its car parks to reflect the new charging structure and is advising customers to check this signage when paying for their stays. 

The new variable charging structure will only affect motorists with more polluting vehicles, with many drivers not seeing any change in the price they pay.

The price of parking will depend on vehicle emissions, in line with the bands used for DVLA vehicle exercise duty. Drivers of non-diesel vehicles with emissions below 131g/km will not see prices increase. More polluting vehicles, like diesel vehicles, will now pay a higher rate.

Motorists can check their vehicle’s emissions on the Government’s website, but do not need to know their vehicle emissions or engine size when paying for their stay.

The new charges aim to incentivise motorists with more polluting vehicles to use more sustainable alternatives when visiting the city centre, like Park & Ride, and encourage a shift to public transport, walking, wheeling and cycling.

Emission-based parking charges have been introduced at numerous local authorities throughout the country, however Bath & North East Somerset Council are the only local authority continuing to offer its customers a cash payment option, providing payment flexibility and making it easier to pay for stays. 

The council is replacing all of its existing car park parking payment terminals in Bath and customers will have the choice to pay via MiPermit, cash or card. Customers will need to input the details of their vehicle registration plate so their charge can be automatically calculated.

The new emission-based charge tariff can be seen on the council’s consultation webpage, and will be published on the council’s parking and travel webpages when they go live.

In a recent public consultation carried out by the council, more than half of the 1,692 responses voiced concerns about air quality and felt the council should do more to tackle air pollution.

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport said: “Prices won’t change for a lot of drivers, these new charges will only affect people bringing more polluting vehicles into our city.

“This approach is being adopted across the country but we’re the only council remaining committed to offering cash payments for customers. We see it as really important to protect this.

“Our overall aim is to improve public safety by improving air quality and reducing congestion and I’d like to thank all that took part in the consultation and shared their views with us.

“Air pollution currently causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year and the consultation responses show residents are concerned about the air quality in Bath, which these changes will help improve.

“Introducing these new charges will also support our Journey to Net Zero ambitions, builds on the progress made by the Clean Air Zone.”

The emission-based charging structure will also be applied to car park season tickets, however existing season ticket holders will not see an increase in price for a 12-month period.

Parking at the council’s three Park & Ride sites will remain free for those using the bus service, helping to encourage its use and reducing vehicle intrusion into the city. Group discounts and concessions are available.

Foreign registered, or vehicles not registered with the DVLA, will be charged the highest price for the chosen duration. This is to encourage visitors to use sustainable alternatives such as our Park and Ride sites, and those with unregistered vehicles to adhere to the legal requirements.

Emission-based parking charges will be introduced at the following car parks:

  • Avon Street
  • Bath Sports & Leisure Centre
  • Cattlemarket
  • Charlotte Street
  • Claverton Street
  • Green Park Road
  • Kingsmead Square
  • Manvers Street

Do you visit Bath often? Will this make you think twice before driving your car into the city?