Bath and North East Somerset Council has voted in favour of a £100 charge for non-Euro 6 HGVs entering the city's Clean Air Zone.
The move has prompted RHA to warn the council that haulage firms will be put at risk by the move while the FTA said the charge will create a “stealth tax”. The warnings follow Bath and North East Somerset Council’s decision last week to charge non-Euro 6 buses, coaches and HGVs £100 to enter the CAZ, whilst non-Euro 6 LGVs, private hire vehicles and taxis will be charged £9 per day. Private cars will be exempt from charges.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said that since hauliers typically make £60 profit per truck per week, a £100 daily charge will threaten their future.
FTA south west policy manager Chris Yarsley warned the council’s decision to exempt private cars would place “a heavy financial burden” on haulage operators and said the charges were “tantamount to a stealth tax”.
Burnett added: “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.”
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Burnett also criticised the council’s decision to extend the zone along a section of the A36 – a key freight route for the region – and warned that hauliers using this route to deliver goods elsewhere could increase mileage to avoid the area.
Yarsley also questioned the effectiveness of the zone in improving air quality and called on the council to focus instead on traffic management and encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

He slammed the plan’s lack of support for operators in comparison to car drivers, with plans for improved park and rides and cycling facilities.

“Commercial vehicle operators will be left picking up the bill for this investment, as private car drivers will not be contributing to the funding that will be made available via the CAZ charge,” he added.

If the Bath CAZ plan gets government go-ahead the scheme will be launched in November 2020.