Bradford's Clean Air Zone could be operational by January 2022, with charges for most commercial polluting vehicles

Around 4.7 per cent of deaths in Bradford are attributable to air pollution.

Bradford's new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) could be fully implemented by January next year.

The plans will be voted on at a council meeting on Tuesday 2 March. If approved, it would see the most polluting commercial vehicles charged up to £50 a day to enter an area that takes in much of the city centre and Bradford to Shipley corridor.

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.

It is hoped the new zone 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.

The most polluting commercial vehicles will be charged up to £50 a day

It comes after the Government instructed the council in 2018 to draw up plans to bring down nitrogen dioxide levels in the district to within legal limits as soon as possible.

A report to Bradford Council's Executive says the Government has awarded £39.3 million funding to the city to help implement the zone, and support the upgrade of the most polluting vehicles.

Operators will be able to use this pot of cash to upgrade their vehicles to either less polluting engines, or completely overhaul them to greener power such as electric.

The scheme will use a network of automated number plate recognition cameras to identify non compliant vehicles. The vehicles' owners would then be charged.

Some businesses within the zone will be able to apply for a possible exemption from the charging. Credit: ITV Calendar

The report going to the Executive says there will be a "soft launch" of the Clean Air Zone in December, when drivers of non-compliant vehicles will receive a letter informing them the charges will come into play on January 4.

Small or medium sized businesses based within the zone will be able to apply for a possible exemption from the charging.

The Government has also released £3,960,000 in Clean Bus Technology Funding to upgrade 217 commercial buses in Bradford to CAZ Standard, and could soon confirm a further funding of £1,632,000 to upgrade the 102 remaining, non-compliant, commercial and tendered buses in the District to CAZ Standard.

Areas near major roads in Bradford city centre and Shipley have long been identified as having dangerous pollution levels.

4.7%

of deaths in Bradford are attributable to air pollution

Figures that will be given to the Executive say around 4.7 per cent of deaths in Bradford are attributable to air pollution.

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.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council

The report says the scheme will have a "planned obsolescence" - as more vehicles are upgraded to cleaner technology income will decrease until it is "entirely eliminated."

The report says: "It is expected that natural compliance of fleet will be achieved over time as people upgrade their vehicles. The CAP program provides an opportunity for the Authority to use 'nudge economics' to ensure project success, by effecting long term positive changes in behaviour through low cost, high impact strategies."