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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bradford’s Clean Air Zone explained

These changes will come into effect in January 2022.

Bradford is introducing a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, outer ring road and Aire valley corridor (Manningham Lane/Bradford Road and Canal Road area) which will include Shipley and Saltaire to reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality.

A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is a defined area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality. The policy will come into practice on 5 January 2022.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, as long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy.

The Clean Air Zone aims to tackle vehicle emissions by offering incentives to taxi drivers and lorry companies.

Air pollutants are emitted from a range of both man-made and natural sources. Many everyday activities such as transport, industrial processes, farming, energy generation and domestic heating can have a detrimental effect on air quality.

Air pollution is made up of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particular matter (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1) Ozone and volatile organic compounds, toxic organic micro-pollutants (TOMPS), Benzene. 1,3-Butadiene, Carbon monoxide, Lead and heavy metals.

Bradford is one of several local authorities who have been directed by the government to improve air quality in the shortest possible time. Nitrogen Dioxide levels have been monitored in the District and levels exceed legal limits.

Air quality monitoring, evaluation and modelling studies have identified a Clean Air Zone as the most effective method of reducing nitrogen dioxide and improving air quality, as quickly as possible.

The main objective of the Clean Air Zone is to discourage the use of older, more polluting vehicles from entering the zone by setting a charge for entering.

The poorest communities in Bradford will benefit the most. Image by Ria Puskas.

Every ward in Bradford will benefit from cleaner air. There will be more electric taxis and the number of noncompliant vans, lorries, taxis and buses will fall. As a result, air quality will improve across the district, both inside and outside the Clean Air Zone boundary.

Health research in Bradford has indicated that the largest health benefits will be felt by the most deprived communities in the city. The Clean Air Plan will bring levels of nitrogen dioxide within legal limits five years more quickly than without intervention.

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.

Other cities with Clean Air Zone’s include Bath and Birmingham, with plans for Bristol, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Sheffield, and Manchester launching soon.

When will this start?

The Bradford Clean Air Zone is due to go live in January 2022.

How does this affect me?

Passenger car owners (not including private hire cars) will not be charged for entering the zone.

HGV, Coaches, busses, LGV, minibuses, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles are liable for the charge if they are not compliant with the Clean Air Zone vehicle standard.

Types of Clean Air Zones

There are 4 types of Clean Air Zones, Class A to D  that set the level of restrictions that apply to vehicles.

Restrictions for the lowest class (A) of Clean Air Zone set emission standards for buses, coaches and taxis through to the highest class (D) which includes all vehicles including cars, vans and heavy goods vehicles.

ClassVehicle type
ABuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
BBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles
CBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses
DBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles

What are the charges?

The charges for entering the zone per day will be:

  • HGV/Coach/Bus £50
  • Minibus/LGV £9
  • Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle £12.50

Is there any help available?

Bradford Council is providing funding for a range of grants and exemption schemes to provide financial support to affected local businesses.

Grants will be available to support the replacement or retrofit of non-compliant vehicles to clean air zone standards and to assist with the ongoing running costs of electric vehicles.

They will be available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Sole Traders/self-employed, education establishments and charities registered within the Bradford Metropolitan District.

In addition, HGV grants may be available to SMEs outside the Bradford District who can evidence regular usage of the Clean Air Zone, and who work on a hire and reward basis

Grants will not apply to businesses with more than 250 staff (other SME criteria may also apply).

Grants will be available to non-compliant vehicles under the following categories:
  • Hackney Carriage and Wheelchair Accessible Private Hire Vehicles
  • Private Hire vehicle (Non-Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles)
  • Light Goods Vehicles and Minibuses (not Private Hire Vehicles)
  • Coaches/Heavy Goods Vehicles/Buses

Grants will fall under one of the following three categories:

  • Replacement vehicles
  • Retrofit existing vehicle
  • Electric vehicle running costs

For more information, you can visit the council’s website here.

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