Avon Fire & Rescue Service gets behind Bath Clean Air Zone

Supporting Bath and North East Somerset Council’s implementation of a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is the focus of a memorandum of understanding signed up to by local emergency services, including Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS).

In committing to the initiative, which comes into effect on 15th March, AF&RS ancillary fleet and one frontline vehicle stationed at Bath will be Clean Air Zone-compliant, with a replacement plan in place for the other four frontline vehicles at Bath as soon as possible.

Additionally, AF&RS have taken the extra steps of writing to all contractors and suppliers to inform them of the Service’s support of the changes and to encourage them to take responsibility for ensuring CAZ-compliance of their own fleet.

AF&RS Environmental Manager, Annabel Harford said: “Avon Fire & Rescue Service is fully supportive of the Clean Air Zone initiative and we are committed to improving the environmental performance of our fleet.  This is reflected in the Service’s ambitious goal to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and our recent declaration of a Climate Emergency.

“We are delighted to join our emergency service colleagues in signing a memorandum of understanding with Bath and North East Somerset Council, to formalise our commitment to the initiative.  It’s an important message for our communities to show how we will work together to demonstrate leadership and reduce the environmental impact of our fleets, without jeopardising our ability to respond to emergencies.”

Cleaner transport and travel is one of the key principles outlined in the Environmental Strategy 2020-2030, which sees the Service aiming for an estate-wide electric vehicle charging network by 2023 and over 30% of fleet vehicles to be low/ultra-low emissions by 2026.

To read our Environmental Strategy click here.

AF&RS Fleet Manager, Brian Harwood said: “As a Service we are keen to continually improve the vehicle emissions at all stations within our region. 

“At the start of the Clean Air Zone initiative, Bath will have ancillary vehicles and essential response vehicles, used to transport personnel to incidents, which will meet or exceed the required standards, along with one appliance vehicle that will meet the standards required.

“A robust replacement programme will see further introduction of compliant vehicles and future replacement activities will ensure all vehicles at Bath are aligned to the CAZ standards over the next few years and as a priority within the replacement planning.

“More widely, we are also working towards a lower emissions fleet.  This includes installing telematics in all fleet vehicles, transitioning the ancillary fleet to low and ultra-low emissions, installing an estate-wide network of electrical charge-points and changes in operational practices which continue to reduce vehicle movements.  We are also involved in a Zero Emissions Fire Appliance development programme.”

To read our Fleet Strategy click here.

The Bath Clean Air Zone starts on 15th March 2021 and from this date, vehicles that do not meet the required emission standards when entering the zone, may have to pay daily charges.

To find out more about the initiative, view a map of the zone, find out about the charges and exemptions visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-clean-air-zone