If you live in Bradford or drive in and around the city regularly, you need to be aware of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) that was implemented on September 26th, 2022. The CAZ affects drivers differently depending on the type of vehicle they drive.
Find out all you need to know about the Bradford Clean Air Zone in this article.
The Bradford Clean Air Zone is designed to improve air quality in local areas and tackle air pollution, specifically harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide. The zone is being introduced to improve the health of the residents and visitors, with the largest reductions in pollution being centred around the areas in which schools are located.
The Bradford Clean Air Zone restricts access to the city centre for the most polluting vehicles. To encourage drivers of these vehicles to switch to a cleaner mode of transport, they must pay a charge to drive in the zone.
Bradford will be a Class C+ CAZ, which means that commercial vehicles driving into the city will face a daily charge if they don’t meet the emission standards.
The area will cover most of the city; see the map below for the full zone. This includes the Bradford outer ring road (A6177) and extends up along the Aire Valley Corridor.
Passenger cars and motorbikes will not be charged for entering the Bradford Clean Air Zones. The following vehicles are charged if they do not meet the relevant emissions standards (in brackets):
Minibuses (Euro 6 if diesel, Euro 4 if petrol)
Private Hire Vehicles (Euro 6 if diesel, Euro 4 if petrol)
Hackney Carriage (Euro 6 if diesel, euro 4 if petrol)
LGVs (Euro 6 is diesel, Euro 4 if petrol)
Coaches (Minimum Euro 6 if diesel)
Buses (Minimum Euro 6 if diesel, including alternative fuels)
HGVs (Minimum Euro 6 if diesel, including alternative fuels)
If you live in Bradford and own a private van, horsebox, motorhome, or campervan, you can apply for an exemption on one non-compliant vehicle. You can do this on the Breathe For Bradford website.
The charges for driving a non-compliant vehicle are different depending on the vehicle itself. The charges are as follows:
Private Hire Vehicles and Hackney Carriage: £7 per day
LGVs and Minibuses: £9 per day
Coaches, Buses, and HGVs: £50: per day
You must pay to drive through the Bradford Clean Air Zone either:
Up to 6 days before the day of your visit
The day of your visit
Up to 6 days after the day of your visit
You won’t be notified if you have driven through the Bradford Clean Air Zone. As a driver, it is your responsibility to know whether your car meets the emissions standard and then pay the right charge if necessary. If you fail to pay the charge within the 13-day allocated window, you will be subject to a £120 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). You can reduce this to £60 if you pay it within 14 days.
You can pay the charge online. If you pay to drive through the CAZ in advance but decide not to enter on that day, you can also apply for a refund.
The CAZ is enforced 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You are subject to a daily charge if your vehicle doesn't meet the right emissions standard, but you only need to pay once per day. This then allows you to drive in the zone without limit.
The charges apply from midnight to midnight, not 24 hours from when you enter the zone. For example, if you enter the CAZ at 11:59 pm one day, drive through it and then re-enter at 12:30 am, you must pay for 2 days.
The charges are effective from midnight on September 26th, 2022.
You can check your vehicle for any of the UK’s Clean Air Zones, including Bradford, on the GOV.UK website. This service is free to use.
You should check your vehicle’s compliance regularly, even if you have driven through similar zones in other cities – the restrictions differ depending on the class of CAZ.
If you do have to pay to enter Bradford’s CAZ, you might be wondering where the money goes. It will be reinvested into further programmes in the Bradford district to help reduce harmful emissions. This may include supporting zero-emission buses in the city, help for residents and businesses to upgrade their vehicles, and the support for schools to help reduce emissions in their areas.
Andrew Whittles, Bradford Council’s Air Quality Director believes, “Every ward in Bradford will benefit from cleaner air. The number of non-compliant vans, lorries, taxis, and buses will fall. As a result, air quality will improve across the district, both inside and outside the Clean Air Zone boundary.”
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