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Thursday, December 7, 2023

CAZ cash to fund school patrols

More wardens will soon be patrolling the streets outside Bradford’s schools at pick up and drop off times in a bid to tackle “unsafe and anti-social” driving and parking.

It will be part of a new programme, funded by Bradford’s Clean Air Zone, that will also see schools across the District awarded grants to introduce environmental measures.

The Clean Schools Programme is a £1m scheme, with the cash coming from the Council’s controversial Clean Air Zone.

One aspect will see the increased engagement to stop drivers parking on pavements and zig zag lines on the school run.

The Bradford Clean Air Zone sees some of the most polluting commercial vehicles charged a fee to enter the city centre and areas of Shipley. £2 from every charge goes to Government coffers, and the rest to the Council.

One condition of the CAZ is that any income has to be used on environmental or clean air programmes.

In an announcement today, the Council said the Clean Schools Programme would “include increased enforcement and engagement on road safety as well as grants for schools for them to implement sustainability improvements, as part of the district’s wider clean air strategy.”

The announcement added: “Under the Clean Schools Programme, the council will also increase the number of wardens, who are tasked with tackling unsafe and antisocial driving in partnership with schools by increasing enforcement and engagement activity in the roads around school sites.

“The programme will be a £1 million scheme funded by the city’s Clean Air Zone, bringing further benefits from the CAZ to every corner of the district.

“The funds will be invested in line with the terms of the Charging Schemes Order which was agreed when Government mandated Bradford to introduce the CAZ.

“The order allows the council to use net proceeds from the scheme – after the government has taken its portion of each CAZ charge – to reduce emissions around schools. The scheme is therefore no additional cost to the council or taxpayer.”

It will be a three-year scheme, with half of the funds being invested in wardens, enforcement and engagement and the other half to be distributed as grants to schools to invest in their own environmental measures.

The Clean Schools Programme will be brought to a meeting of the Executive for approval in the coming months.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Anyone who witnesses school drop-off time will share our concerns about the risks to safety of children due to congestion but also the careless, inappropriate or downright antisocial driving that we all see too often. We want to reduce the risk of collisions and also the build-up of toxic fumes which are proven to cause health problems especially to young children as well as older people. One in five children in the Bradford district has a diagnosed breathing problem so we all have a responsibility to take action.

“We are therefore pleased to bring forward these plans to use CAZ funds to strengthen enforcement around schools and tackle harmful pollution near the school gates. We will be excited to work in partnership with schools with grants to support their plans.

“Health research in Bradford has indicated that the largest health benefits from the CAZ will be felt by the most disadvantaged communities in the city. This scheme is part of our ambition to make the district a safer and cleaner place to be.”


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