Implementation of the Bradford Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has been pushed back. Previously planned to start on 5 January 2022, it will now not begin until spring of that year, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) says. The local authority (LA) confirmed the delay on 22 December after the news was first broken by trade body RHA two days earlier.
The government-approved change represents a further delay from CBMDC’s initial October 2021 aim. It will “provide more time for council systems to integrate with the government’s national IT infrastructure that manages all CAZs across the country,” the LA says.
An announcement will be made “early in the new year” on when the CAZ in Bradford will come into force. Enforcement cameras are ready to go live as part of preparations that are said to be “well underway.”
CBMDC adds that the delay will give some businesses more time to use available grants to upgrade vehicles. Central to that is an additional £1.7m towards zero-emission taxis. As of 22 December, CBMDC said that only 60% of the city’s licenced taxi trade had achieved compliance with the CAZ.
The deadline for bids to CBMDC’s Clean Air Coach and School Bus Fund was 30 September. It is understood that around 50 coaches form part of the applications received. All buses entering the CAZ were expected to be compliant from the 5 January 2022 start date.
At a webinar for coach operators on 14 September, concerns were aired that lead times for exhaust retrofit equipment exceeded the period until when the CAZ was then planned to begin. CBMDC countered those claims by citing the sunset periods available to vehicles for which equipment has been ordered but is still awaited. The same sunset period is available ahead of the delivery of a new vehicle.
The penalty for non-compliant coaches and buses once the CAZ in Bradford is introduced will be £50 per day. Exemptions are available for coaches and buses transporting people to educational establishments in the city, and to coaches and minibuses that are registered within the Bradford district and which regularly enter the CAZ (albeit to a limited number per business), among others.