To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
A man who was forced to pay £9 ($12) every time he drove off his driveway has moved house.
Ian Akers, a postie who works in Bath city centre, used to cycle to work each day from his home on Lower Bristol Road.
He also owns a campervan which he uses for longer trips, but as of March last year, his address became part of a Clean Air Zone, meaning he would accrue a £9 charge every time the vehicle left his driveway.
Ian said: "I would cycle to work and back every day, I'd cycle to the pub, cycle to meet my mates. I rarely used a vehicle.
"I had saved up to buy my 1999 Mazda Bongo van and then done up it inside, so it was a very personal thing and I had stopped it from going to landfill.
"But it wasn't compliant with the Clean Air Zone, so every single time I left my house I was fined £9 - which I thought was a bit communist really.
"I couldn't even drive to see my parents without being charged and you've got to remember that we have just had a year of lockdown when you weren't allowed to see anybody."
With the charge becoming a 'heavy weight' on his mind, Ian contacted Bath and North East Somerset Council for advice; and while he said staff were 'very helpful and sympathetic', he was not satisfied with their solution of offering him a loan to buy a new van.
He was eventually offered a grant to buy a new van, but Ian said it wouldn't be enough, with van prices increasing during the pandemic.
Unable to find a resolution after months of correspondence, Ian decided to move - meaning the Clean Air Zone charge has actually increased his carbon footprint.
He said: "I moved two miles up the road and I worked out that it would be £25 ($34) a week to get the bus so it was more viable for me to buy a cheap car to drive into work.
"My driving has increased by about three times because of the Clean Air Zone. I went from driving nine miles a week to now probably driving 25 miles a week.
"It's completely the wrong way round. I didn't cause any pollution going into work before."
Ian added that he had spent the pandemic as a key worker delivering mail and felt like this was a 'bit of a kick in the teeth'.
He said: "They didn't improve the cycle lanes and they didn't improve the buses. Public transport in Bath has always been terrible but they didn't make the buses any cheaper.
"They could have put some time and effort into improving the buses and the cycle paths.
"It's just a massive joke. I have still got the van and I drive it around the outskirts of the zone now."
LADbible has contacted Bath and North East Somerset Council for comment.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read