Council vehicles have clocked up thousands of pounds in charges driving into Bath’s clean air zone.
Bath and North East Somerset Council is upgrading its 207-strong fleet but a fifth – 43 vehicles – are still non-compliant with the zone’s emissions standards.
The authority has sent most of those vehicles away from the city centre but 25 have strayed into the zone nearly 300 times since it launched in March – racking up £7,360 in charges in the process.
Six of the vehicles have since been upgraded and another seven replacements are on order.
Deputy council leader Sarah Warren, the cabinet member for climate emergency and sustainable travel, said: “The council has a fleet renewal plan to replace operational fleet vehicles on a scheduled basis where budget is available.
“Shortly before launch, 10 council vehicles were upgraded to meet clean air zone emission standards and these are regularly used in the zone.
“Despite the very specialist nature of many of the council’s vehicles, 11 per cent of the fleet is already electric.
“We are working to ensure that all the council’s fleet entering the zone is compliant by April 2022.”
Private cars are exempt but drivers of non-compliant vans, taxis and private hire vehicles face a £9 daily charge, while those behind the wheel of a bus, coach or HGV have to pay £100 a day to enter the clean air zone.
A report to this month’s cabinet meeting said more than £1million in charges was paid between 15th March and the end of July, when the council also secured £800,000 from fines.
The percentage of chargeable non-compliant vehicles entering the zone fell from 5.7 per cent in the launch week to 2.1 per cent in the last full week of June.
Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter