Bath has established the UK’s first clean air zone outside of London after two years of planning.

The city’s clean air zone has been celebrated by many as the first step in improving air quality and reducing emissions outside of London.

Edie Gill-Holder speaking on behalf of The AirTeam, a campaign group raising awareness of the dangers of air pollution, said: “It is certainly a landmark moment in the fight for clean air.

“AirTeam is fully behind/supports any action to reduce the levels of air pollution, the new clean air zone in Bath is definitely great news, especially as its the first outside of London (air pollution is a problem all over the country, not just in London).”

Bath’s clean air zone is referred to as a Class C zone, which means that only HGVs, buses, coaches and taxis will be charged. Right now, passengers car are exempt from the charges.

The largest charges will be issued to drivers of petrol vehicles that don't conform to Euro 4 emissions standards or were registered before January 2006, or diesel vehicles that do not conform to Euro 6 standards or have been registered after September 2015.

Buses, coaches and HGVs that don’t meet the emissions requirements will all have to pay £100 a day to enter the city’s clean air zone, with taxis, vans and minibuses only paying £9 per day.

Those who choose not to pay the initial charge will incur an additional fine of £120, which will increased to £180 if not paid within 30 days. Those who continually fail to pay will have their cars clamped or destroyed.

Clean air zones and other ultra-low emissions areas are being proposed and set up in a number of other major UK cities.

The next clean air zone in a major UK city to be established will be Birmingham’s, which is coming online on 1st June 2021. While Oxford, Bristol and Leeds are amongst the several other UK cities looking to set up similar clean air zones or ultra-low emissions areas.

These proposals come after the success London’s congestion charge and ultra-low emissions zones have had in curbing traffic and air pollution in the capital.

However, Gill-Holder said: “Clear Air Zones are an excellent start, but not alone enough.

“We want to see more clean air zones across the country, as well as other measures that support active travel, school streets, and above all we’d like the government to commit to adopting WHO recommended safe levels of air pollution immediately into UK law.”

Beyond contributing to global warming, air pollution and emissions have frequently been linked to shortened life expectancy and contributing to disease like lung cancer. The groups most at risk from air pollution are newborns, children, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Which is why, following the recent return of children to schools, the AirTeam have campaigned to raise awareness of the emissions and dangers of idling cars. Gill-Holder said: “Clean air zones are great but they don’t tackle idling vehicles.

“We support the implementation of further school streets, to at least curb idling outside of schools during pick up time.

“A large part of it is also education drivers on the impact of idling, Idling Action London have a great awareness campaign at the moment.”