Bath introduces emission-based parking charges

  • October 24, 2023
  • William Payne

One of Europe’s largest tourist destinations is introducing emission-based charging to improve air quality in its historic city centre.

The City of Bath in west England is introducing variable charging 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. Payment will be through a parking app, MiPermit, as well as card.

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 to retain cash payment as well as card and app payment, to make it easier for visitors and local users to use the system.

The council is replacing all of its existing car park parking payment terminals in Bath. Customers will need to input the details of their vehicle registration plate so their charge can be automatically calculated.

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.”