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Bradford Clean Air Zone Charges – One Year On

The Bradford Clean Air Zone is one year old and still a subject of debate in the city and beyond. 

A major issue debated over the year is whether it was necessary to introduce a zone that charges. In a report published by Bradford Council on 28th November the council said they had received a ‘Ministerial Direction’ that required them to put in place a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) that charged buses, coaches, taxis, lorries and vans.

Sally Jones, Environment Manager within the Clean Air Team at Bradford Council, said: “We knew it was going to be difficult for people. We were asking for a lot of vehicles to be upgraded or not come into the zone, so we put a huge support package in place whereby we have put out over £30million worth of funding to help cover the cost of upgrading those vehicles.” 

Yesterday in Bradford city centre opinions varied. At one of the taxi ranks Iqbal, a Hackney Carriage driver, claimed that private cars are more responsible for pollution than taxis. He said: “If you look around the town, mostly the private cars are much older, they are throwing out more fumes than taxis.” This was echoed by Ali, another taxi driver, who said: “All the kids go to school in the morning and are dropped off. Every parent that drops the kids off, are their cars compliant? No, they are not. So where is the clean air zone near the schools?”   

Taxi rank in Bradford city centre

Some people were for the CAZ. Another driver waiting in the taxi rank said: “I think it’s better. Health wise it’s much better.” At a busy bus stop a school pupil said: “I think it’s good. We should stop pollution.” A woman in the bus queue said: “It’s good to keep the city clean.” 

Car driver, taxi user and bus rider Susan said: “I’m against it because businesses are struggling as it is with the cost of living. I’m 100% against it.” 

During the year Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore referred to the CAZ charges as ‘Labour-run Bradford Council’s Clean Air Zone tax’ and called for the ‘ridiculous CAZ tax’ to be scrapped.  

Labour Councillor for Keighley Mohsin Hussain said: “One of the most important things for me as a councillor is children’s health. It was very important that as soon as we heard about the clean air zone we got into knowing why it has been introduced. We had many conversations in the Labour group about the charging. Robbie Moore is aware that it is a Government thing.” 

Mr Moore MP was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in November 2023. The Department is responsible for Clean Air Zone policy. Yorkshire Voice contacted Mr Moore on several occasions for comment but got no answer. 

What do you think?