Bath Clean Air Zone puts business at risk

The Road Haulage Association has warned that charging hauliers £100 to enter a clean air zone (CAZ) in Bath will put firms at risk.

Bath and North East Somerset Council is going ahead with plans to slap pre-Euro VI trucks with the charges from November – subject to government approval.

The RHA fully supports the drive to improve air quality but warns local authorities against launching schemes which jeopardise businesses.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said that hauliers typically make just £60 profit per truck, per week so cannot expect to absorb £100 daily charges and thrive.

“We all want cleaner air and we will support practical plans which make it happen, but it cannot be at the expense of businesses priming the supply chain.

“We have put forward alternative solutions to improve air quality which embrace business realities but sadly these have fallen on deaf ears.”

Significantly the zone takes in a section of the A36 – a key freight route for the region which effectively bypasses the city – so the impact of CAZ charges will be felt beyond Bath.

Mr Burnett warned that hauliers using this route to deliver goods elsewhere will also be hit in the pocket whether passing through the CAZ or increasing mileage and journey times avoiding it.