Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are being introduced in cities across England to help improve air quality and the health of the people who work and live there. Especially the health of children, who are particularly at risk.

Bradford is one such city. Bradford’s Clean Air Zone goes live on Monday, September 26, 2022. There will be a daily charge for people driving into Bradford’s CAZ, while some vehicles are exempt. See below for further information.

As well as posing a health risk, air pollution also has a detrimental impact on a child’s brain development. The evidence is stark.

Professor John Wright, director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The evidence of the toxic nature of the emissions coming out of our car exhausts has become overwhelming.

“These are invisible poisons that we churn out into our pure Yorkshire air every day – harming the lives of our children. Fifty years ago, we thought that smoking was harmless, but high-quality epidemiological evidence has lifted the scales from our eyes.

“We are in a similar position today with traffic-related air pollution – waking up to the immense harm that this is causing to our health and wellbeing.”

Bradford Council, in partnership with Born in Bradford (BiB), are conducting a study is to evaluate the impact of a Clean Air Zone on air quality, health and health inequalities in the city of Bradford.

Evidence from the ground-breaking study, which tracks the lives of more than 30,000 Bradfordians, has found clear evidence of the harm of traffic-related air pollution on children’s brain development.

Robert Janaway, a resident of Saltaire for over 20 years, is excited that the Bradford CAZ is being implemented. Mr Janaway sufferers with breathing difficulties and has noticed that air quality in Bradford has a major impact on his breathing compared to the better air quality he can enjoy when, for example, visiting the countryside.

“I suffer from asthma,” said Mr Janaway “and I definitely notice, living in the Aire Valley, that there can be times when the air quality really, really affects me.

“I am very excited by the work that’s been done on the modelling that the council have shared at some of the consultation meetings.”

Ahead of the introduction of Bradford’s CAZ, there are a number of things both city residents and those living outside of Bradford need to know, but first…

What is a Clean Air Zone and how does it work?

In Bradford, parts of the district have higher than the legal limits of nitrogen dioxide, which is known to contribute to a range of health issues, and to aggravate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma. 

Bradford, like many other local authorities in the UK has been required by the government to produce an air quality plan to bring the levels of nitrogen dioxide within legal limits in the shortest possible time.

And a Clean Air Zone is the most effective method of reducing nitrogen dioxide and improving air quality, as quickly as possible.

A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is a defined area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality.

For a comprehensive guide to all matters CAZ and further information videos, click: newsletter

There will be a daily charge for people driving into Bradford’s CAZ

Through the use of a daily charge for entering the zone, the council will encourage people and businesses who own the most polluting vehicles that travel through the district to consider upgrading their vehicles to meet our new air quality standard.

Bradford will be a C+ zone to ensure we meet the legal limits for pollution in the district. This is based on a Class C Clean Air Zone which means there could be charges for all non-compliant vehicle types with the exception of passenger cars and motorbikes.

The definition of passenger cars does not include hackney carriage or private hire vehicles. These will be subject to the daily charge if they do not meet the standard. Bradford district now has one of the cleanest taxi fleets in the country, with 90% of taxis being compliant.

The exemption process is now open
Bradford District residents and businesses with non-compliant vehicles can now apply for exemptions. 

Getting an exemption means that you will not have to pay to drive in the Bradford Clean Air Zone.

Passenger cars or motorbikes will not be charged in the Bradford Clean Air Zone and do not require an exemption. Find out more about and apply for your exemption, here.