Clean Air Zone for city, if councillors agree

Plans to implement a Clean Air Zone in Bradford district at the beginning of next year could be approved when Bradford Council’s Executive meets on March 2.

The zone is designed to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles by imposing a daily charge for vehicles that do not meet clean air standards.

Non-compliant vans would be charged £9, non-compliant taxis £12.50 and non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches £50. There would be no charge for private cars.

If approved at the meeting on March 2 the system should be operational by January 2022 and Bradford would join cities like Manchester, Bristol and Sheffield in creating a Clean Air Zone.

The Government has directed the council to draw up plans to bring down nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the district to within legal limits as soon as possible.

The zone will include Bradford city centre, from and including the outer ring road, extending up the Canal Road corridor and Manningham Lane into Shipley and Saltaire.

It is hoped it will encourage vehicle owners to switch to environmentally friendly vehicles, or upgrade their existing vehicles, as cleaner, less-polluting vehicles will be allowed to use the zone for free.

Around £31m of Government funding will be available to support businesses affected by the zone. More than £10m of that has been earmarked to support the taxi trade.

This will include awarding grants to pay for upgrading or converting taxis to electric to make them exempt from paying the daily charge.

Government has already awarded £3.96m to upgrade 217 buses to Clean Air Zone standards and these are starting to come into service now.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for Healthy People and Healthy Places, said: “The Government clearly recognises the urgent need to address poor air quality and improve health in parts of the city.

“The Clean Air Fund award is one of the highest announced so far, enabling the council to offer attractive grants to local businesses, and to develop a low emission economy in the city.”

The report recommends the Executive approve the implementation of the zone at the meeting next week.