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Monday, June 27, 2022

Bradford Clean Air Zone plan pushed back to to spring

The Clean Air Zone was supposed to go live in January but has been pushed back to an unconfirmed date in spring.

Bradford’s ambitious Clean Air Zone plan that was supposed to launch in January has been pushed back by the Council.

A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is a defined area targeted to improve air quality.

Through the use of a daily charge for entering the zone, the Council will encourage affected vehicle owners to consider upgrading their vehicles to compliant standards.

Taxi drivers in Bradford will be heavily impacted.

Bradford will be a Class C+ Clean Air Zone which means there will be charges for all non-compliant vehicle types with the exception of privately-owned passenger cars (not including private hire cars which will be subject to the daily charge if not compliant).

All money collected from drivers of the most polluting vehicles, either from the Clean Air Zone charge or fines for non-payment of the charge will be invested in measures that improve air quality in the district.

The Council says the delay “Will allow businesses more time to use the Clean Air Funding available and upgrade their vehicles. This includes a new £1.7m fund to increase the electric vehicle grants available for taxis.”

Bradford Council also says that “It will also provide more time for council systems to integrate with the Government’s national IT infrastructure which manages all CAZ across the country.”

The intention is to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels and improve air quality across the District, as quickly as possible. Health research in Bradford shows that the largest health benefits will be felt by the poorest communities in the City.

The Clean Air Zone will push more people into buying electric cars. Image: Ernest Ojeh.

Preparations for the CAZ are well underway with over 16km of new digital ducting introduced in the District and all the CAZ perimeter enforcement cameras installed, which are now ready to go live.

Funding has also seen 60% of our licensed taxis already upgraded to CAZ standard. The £10.4m Clean Air Van & Minibus Fund is currently live on the Breathe Better Bradford website, providing grants of up to £4,500 to upgrade vehicles in the District to the correct standard.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “The Government has directed that Bradford district should have a Clean Air Zone and subsequently the Council has administered millions of pounds worth of grants to businesses to support them with the transition.

“The Council has had a lot of positive feedback from businesses who are being helped to upgrade their vehicles.

“However, there is a national shortage of compliant vans and lorries, with many companies reporting delays into next year for the delivery of their new vehicles.

“We have also taken into account the potential impact that new Covid-19 restrictions could have on businesses as they adapt to the CAZ. This extended lead-in period to the implementation of the CAZ will therefore assist businesses in making preparations.

“The Council is providing the most extensive exemptions programme of any CAZ authority, with businesses and residents allowed to exempt certain vehicles.

“This is possible because around 85% of commercial vehicles that are expected to enter the CAZ will be from outside the District. The Bradford Clean Air Exemptions Programme will be launched early in the new year.

“If you are interested in this programme, then you can register your interest on the Breathe Better Bradford website and the Council will notify everyone once the scheme is launched.”

Anyone who feels that they may be affected by the Bradford CAZ, or any other CAZ, can check their vehicles on the Government Clean Air Zone website.

All information regarding the Bradford CAZ, including information about grants and exemptions, can be found on the Breathe Better Bradford website.

The Council will make an announcement early in the New Year with the confirmed go-live date.

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