Bath & North East Somertset Council

Clean air for Bath

Clean Air 4 Bath


clean air poster

You often can’t see it, or smell it, but there are areas of Bath & North East Somerset that suffer from high levels of air pollution caused by vehicle emissions.

Everyone will benefit from cleaner air, so we’re on a mission to reduce air pollution in the fastest possible time.

But we can’t tackle the problem alone. 

Clean air is everyone’s responsibility, so here you’ll find all you need to know about Bath’s air pollution, including what we’re doing to help and what you can do to cut your own NO2 contribution.

If you’re embracing the challenge - such as using the park & ride or walking to school instead of taking the car - please inspire others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #CleanAir4Bath


What’s causing air pollution?

  • We measure and test for different types of pollution in Bath, but we only have a problem with Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), which is caused by vehicle emissions
  • In Bath, diesel vehicles are the biggest contributors to NO2 pollution


What’s the harm?

High levels of NO2 can cause:

  • Inflammation of the airways, coughing and shortness of breath (short-term exposure)
  • Worsening of existing lung or heart conditions – including asthma and bronchitis
  • Increased susceptibility to allergens and respiratory infections 


Unfortunately, poor air quality in Bath is harmful to our most vulnerable residents - children, elderly people and those already unwell. For example, 12,000 people in the area suffer from asthma, and high levels of pollution can trigger attacks. 

Research also links high levels of NO2 with increased possibility of heart attack and dementia, and reduced lung development in children.


Where is the pollution?

  • There are several locations in Bath where air pollution (specifically NO2) exceeds legal limits
  • It’s particularly bad in built up areas, including London Road and Dorchester Street in the city, and other areas of the district, such as Temple Cloud, Farrington Gurney, Keynsham High Street and sections of the A4 in Saltford
  • While roadside readings are high, passengers inside cars are actually exposed to up to 12 times more pollution than those outside, due to trapped fumes circulating inside the vehicle.


See live monitors >


What’s the Council doing?

We’re working hard to combat air pollution across the area, monitoring roadside emissions, setting up air quality management areas and taking action where required. Such as introducing the Next-Bike cycle hire scheme, installing more electric vehicle charge points, and supporting bus operators to retrofit buses to lower their emissions.

We’re also working closely with employers, schools, colleges and universities to encourage more sustainable travel.

Find out more at

Most importantly, we’re planning to introduce a Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ) in Bath.This means that drivers of certain higher emission vehicles will soon have to pay a daily fee to drive in central Bath (the zone).

We’re currently assessing three different options for a CAZ, and in mid-October you’ll have an opportunity to comment on the final proposal. It’s hoped that the charging zone will be in place by the middle of 2020 to see significant improvements in air quality by 2021 at the latest.

For more details on Bath’s CAZ plans, go to


How to cut your NO2 contribution

Want to change your travel habits to get clean air for Bath? Join the conversation at #CleanAir4Bath

The most obvious ways to cut your contribution to air pollution is:

  • Reduce the number of trips you make by car
  • Turn your engine off while you wait
  • Choose a lower-emission car
  • Try the Park & Ride
  • Use public transport and walk, scoot or cycle when you can!


More tips and support



  • Choose public transport

    park and ride bus

    Using public transport, including Park & Rides cuts congestion and the noxious vehicle emissions that harm health. Next time you head into town, take the bus, or park your car for free at a Park & Ride. Your journey is often quicker and less stressful on the P&R - and contactless payment is now available.


  • Choose low-emission vehicles

    car being fueled

    If you’re buying a new vehicle, test drive an electric car and discover the benefits for you and the environment. If you drive a van, remember to check out the Government grants available to help you save money when you go ultra-low.

    Plus there's no need to buy a brand new vehicle - second hand low-emission vehicles are also available.


  • Opt for petrol over diesel

    clean air poster

    Most of the NO2 pollution in Bath is caused by diesel vehicles. So when it’s time to update your car or van, consider buying a petrol vehicle instead. It doesn’t have to be brand new. Petrol cars and vans from 2006 emit less NO2 than relatively modern diesel vehicles. If you must choose Diesel – go for Euro 6 standard. 


  • Don’t idle


    If you turn your vehicle’s engine off while dropping people off or waiting, it protects the health of people in and around the car.



  • Car shares & car clubs

    car share

    Sharing your journey to and from work is a great way to save money, meet new people, reduce pollution and cut congestion. What’s not to love? Ask your employers if they’ve already got a car share portal, or consider starting one.


    Another great way to cut car use is to bravely forego your car (or second car) and rely on a low-emission car club for those essential journeys.


  • How to protect yourself and your family

    clean air poster

    • Busy roads have more air pollution. If you're walking, choose quieter back streets at busy times.
    • Shut the windows in your home at peak times if you live next to busy traffic. Open the windows that don't face the street. 
    • While roadside readings are high, passengers inside cars are actually exposed to up to 12 times more pollution that those outside, due to trapped fumes circulating inside the vehicle.
      • Before you reach heavy traffic, close the windows and set the air conditioning to recirculate the air inside, rather than bringing in outdoor air.
      • When you leave an area of heavy traffic, open your windows to enable fresh air to circulate. 
    • To find out whether air pollution is high in your area, you can check our live monitors.
    • Remember that indoor pollution can also affect health. For more information on common indoor pollutants, check the Clean Air Day website.


  • Check your tyres

    checking tyre pressure

    Correctly inflated tyres will save you money and fuel and reduce air pollution.


Don't forget to share how you're contributing to cleaner air using #CleanAir4Bath.

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