Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) operators in Bradford are being invited to bid for funding to help to retrofit their vehicles ahead of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
Bradford Council has been directed by the government to implement a CAZ to cut levels of air pollution.
Air pollution is linked to around 200 deaths each year in the district and Bradford has high levels of childhood asthma with 22% of children reporting a wheezing disorder.
Under the new zone, which will be implemented in early 2022, vans, taxis, lorries, buses and coaches that do not meet clean air standards will be charged for entering the zone.
The zone will include Bradford city centre, from and including the outer ring road, extending up the Canal Road corridor and Manningham Lane into Shipley and Saltaire.
To help prepare for the zone, HGV drivers can now submit funding bids for up to £16,000 per vehicle.
Applicants can apply via the YORtender portal. This also gives application guidance and details of eligibility, which includes vehicles frequently needing to travel through the CAZ and operators being no larger than an SME – a small or medium enterprise with less than 250 employees and a turnover below £45m or a total balance sheet less than £40m.
The Council will also be publishing details of the Clean Air Exemptions Programme that will be open for applications later this year. This programme will allow local businesses to have up to three exempt vehicles per organisation with additional exemptions for specified vehicles and for organisations carrying out educational and charity work.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, the portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: ‘We were required by the Government to introduce the Clean Air Zone in order to comply with air quality targets by end of 2022. When it is up and running, the zone will make a massive difference to levels of air pollution in the district.
‘But we do recognise that it will involve significant changes for businesses who need to drive through it. So we are doing as much as we can to access funding to assist these businesses to make their vehicles compliant. We hope that HGV operators will take up this valuable opportunity.’
Photo by Gary Butterfield