The date for when the Clean Air Zone will go live has finally been announced.
Bradford Council has revealed that the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will be implemented from 26 September.
The CAZ was supposed to go live in the New Year but was pushed back to the spring and again to September.
The later launch will give the Council time to “fully test its IT systems” and give businesses “more time to use the CAZ funding available and upgrade their vehicles before the launch”, the local authority said.
A spokesperson from Bradford Council said that the Council put forward alternatives to the CAZ but was told by the Government that they must implement the CAZ as it is “the only way that the district can comply with the direction in the shortest possible timeframe.”
The CAZ is a defined area targeted to improve air quality. Through the use of a daily charge for entering the zone, impacted vehicle owners will be encouraged to consider upgrading their vehicles to compliant standards.
Bradford will be a Class C+ CAZ which means that families and individuals with a car will not have to pay a charge, even if they use their car for work, unlike London’s £15-a-day congestion charge for anyone driving in the city centre.
Instead, it is a daily charge for commercial vehicles, including buses, coaches, lorries, vans, and taxis, that do not comply with the new regulations.
The CAZ will impact Bradford centre, through Manningham Lane, up to Saltaire.
Taxis will have to pay £7 a day, if they are not compliant, whereas HGVs will have to pay £50 a day to drive in the zone.
Most vehicles will have to comply with Euro 6 emissions for diesel, and Euro 4 emissions for petrol, or switch over to an electric car to avoid paying the daily surcharge. Vans, minibuses, and Large Good Vehicles (LGVs) will have to pay a charge of £9 a day if not compliant.
All money collected from drivers of the most polluting vehicles, either from the CAZ charge or fines for non-payment of the charge will be invested in measures that improve air quality in the district.
The Council said in a statement: “While the Council has put forward alternatives to a CAZ, the Government has instructed the Council that a charging CAZ is the only way that the district can comply with the direction in the shortest possible timeframe.
“The Government has directed local authorities to implement CAZ following legal action by Client Earth.
“Legal limits for air quality should have been achieved in 2010. The latest monitoring data for Bradford shows that the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide is being breached at several locations across the district.”
The statement goes on to say: “It also provides Bradford district businesses and households more time to apply for local exemptions.
“The Council has secured the highest level of funding for a CAZ of this type and is providing the most extensive exemptions programme of any CAZ in the UK.
“The latest monitoring data for Bradford shows that the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide is being breached at several locations across the district.
“Any revenue from the introduction of the CAZ will be reinvested in further programmes in the district to reduce harmful emissions.
“This will include support for zero-emission buses, further help for residents and businesses to upgrade their vehicles, the development of hydrogen in the district and support for schools to reduce emissions in their areas.”
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places, said: “Whilst we are now in a position to be able to announce the launch of the Bradford Clean Air Zone on 26 September 2022, we have asked Government to provide assurance that any future concessions which may be negotiated for other CAZ cities will also be provided to Bradford businesses and residents.
“Times are tough, and we insist that the Government give Bradford residents and businesses the best deal of all.”