A new emissions zone will charge those with the most polluting petrol and diesel cars from March.

The car tax changes will be introduced within a matter of weeks under new Clean Air Zone plans.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has warned drivers of pre-euro 6 diesel cars and pre-euro 4 petrol cars they will be affected.

The scheme will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week from its launch date on March 15, 2021.

However, private cars and motorbikes will not need to pay a daily fee to travel in the zone.

But buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and motorhomes face a £100 per day charge to drive into the zone.

Senior white man driving car, his wife beside him in the front passenger seat, close up, side view
Drivers need to be wary of the changes in Bath

As for higher emission minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles and vans, they will pay a daily £9 charge to use roads in the city centre.

Councillor Sarah Warren, Joint Cabinet Member for Climate emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said drivers should double check whether this will affect them.

M1 four lane smart motorway in West Yorkshire
In recent months, there have been a lot of changes on the road

She added: "We're urging businesses and individuals to check whether they need to pay to drive in Bath's CAZ, well in advance of its launch, using GOV.UK's vehicle checker. If you know that charges will apply to your vehicles, you can then plan what to do.

"Rather than pay the charge to drive in the zone, we ask that you look at options to upgrade non-compliant vehicles using the financial support on offer or look at reorganising larger regional or national fleets, so that non-compliant vehicles avoid Bath."

She continued: "There are also local exemptions available for hard-to-replace vehicles, vehicles that support vulnerable groups, and also to support businesses such as taxis and small businesses that might be struggling, due to Covid-19, to secure the grants and interest-free finance included in our support package."

The council said an autopay feature will not be available in the city's Clean Air Zone.

So in order to not get caught out, drivers must manage their own payments which can be done six days in advance or six days after the journey has been made.

Drivers who fail to pay the fee will face a £120 fine, although this can be reduced to £60 if it is paid within 14 days of receiving the Penalty Charge Notice.