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I was charged £9 every time I drove my van off my drive way… it got so bad I’ve had to move home


A POSTIE has been forced to move house because of his city’s Clean Air Zone — meaning he can no longer cycle to work. 

Ian Akers works in the city centre of Bath in Somerset and would bike into his workplace and use his campervan to go on long trips or visit family.

Ian Akers works in Bath city centre and used to cycle there each day from his home on Lower Bristol Road

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Ian Akers works in Bath city centre and used to cycle there each day from his home on Lower Bristol RoadCredit: BPM
Ian Akers's campervan - a 1999 Mazda Bongo

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Ian Akers’s campervan – a 1999 Mazda BongoCredit: BPM

But because the 1999 Mazda Bongo van was not compliant with the Clean Air Zone rules he would be hit with a £9 charge each time it left his drive, reports Somerset Live.

Ian, a postman, 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 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.”

Soon, Ian found that paying the daily fee was “draining” his finances.

“It was like a heavy weight on my mind every week,” he said.

He contacted Bath and North East Somerset Council to ask what he should do.

He said officials were “very helpful and sympathetic” but that their
solution was to give him a loan to buy a new van.

Ian said: “I don’t think that’s very fair really – to create a problem
and then tell someone they have to get into debt to solve it.”

And the grant that was offered was not enough to buy a new van, he said.

So, Ian decided to move two miles up the road which meant it was more viable to buy a cheap car to drive to work then take the bus.

He said “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.”

Sun Online has approached Bath and North East Somerset Council for comment.

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