PMQs: PM says Clean Air Zone is ‘unworkable’
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The Clean Air Zone will cover much of Bradford city centre and is designed to encourage people to switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles and cut pollution. Drivers of HGVs and buses breaching pollution limits will pay £50, while vans and minibuses will be charged £9 and taxis £7 from September 26.
Taxis face a fee of £7 to enter the city centre, while drivers of private cars will not face a charge.
Jason Longhurst, Strategic Director, Department of Place at Bradford Council, told Express.co.uk that 87 percent of Bradford taxis are compliant.
This follows grants provided to Bradford businesses which also led to 370 buses and 20 percent of HGVs in the district being upgraded to meet the CAZ emission requirements.
More than 30 new electric buses are also expected to start running on busy routes next year.
On top of this £8.4million in grants have been allocated to assist businesses to upgrade their fleets.
Over 3,400 grants have been applied for in the funding categories including HGVs, buses, coaches, LGVs, minibuses and taxis.
The council has already spent £30million on preparing for the scheme, with almost 3,500 businesses applying for grants.
He added: “Cars are unaffected by the Bradford Clean Air Zone and most Bradford businesses will also be unaffected.
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“An extensive exemptions programme has recently been launched, where Bradford businesses can register with so that they will not have to pay.
“Certain businesses based outside the District can also apply for an exemption.
“Getting an exemption means that they will not have to pay to drive in the Bradford Clean Air Zone.”
Motorists will not be charged to drive a passenger car or motorbike in the Clean Air Zone.
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This means any residents will not need to take any action or apply for an exemption, which is the same for those who live outside the Bradford District.
Despite this, some residents are upset with the new changes, with some planning on protesting the Clean Air Zone.
Protestors say that the CAZ charges on certain vehicles will cripple small businesses, particularly at a time when people are struggling to deal with the cost of living crisis.
A petition was launched to try and get the council to review the terms of the CAZ scheme, but was rejected, with the council saying it had already been debated in recent months.
The creator of the petition, Amir Hussain, said: “The manner in which this response has been conducted is outrageous, unlawful, unjustified and undemocratic.”
Around 40 percent of Bradford’s schools are located within the CAZ, with the charity Born in Bradford estimating there could be a 30 percent reduction in dangerous pollutants around schools.
It is believed that the installation of more than 300 ANPR cameras have been installed across the city already.
Following the launch of Bradford’s CAZ, Bristol will begin charging for its emissions zone on November 28.
Over 71 percent of vehicles travelling into Bristol already meet the zone’s emission standards.
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