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Bradford clean air zone: what to know

June 06, 2023 by

Want to know what the Bradford Clean Air Zone is and if you need to pay to drive in it? You’ve come to the right place

Bradford, like a number of cities in the UK, has a Clean Air Zone, or CAZ, that’s designed to reduce urban pollution from vehicles using the roads.

But what is the Bradford CAZ, how does it work, and do you need to pay the Bradford CAZ if you drive into the area covered by the zone? This article will address these questions, plus others you may well have.

Bradford Clean Air Zone map

The Bradford Clean Air Zone is shaped roughly like a guitar, and covers all areas of the city encompassed by the ring road that runs around the town.

To the north, the Bradford CAZ takes in Shipley, Moorhead and Saltaire train station, which roughly form the head of the guitar, with its long, thin neck covering Heaton Grove and Keighley Road, before the zone widens out again into a shape that resembles the body of a guitar, with this area covering Shearbridge to the west, Pennyoaks hill the the east, and Parkside to the south. An interactive map from Bradford Council shows the CAZ area in more detail.

Drivers of certain vehicles that do not meet certain emission standards have to pay a daily fee to enter the zone, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, starting at midnight – so if you drive into the zone at 23:45 and drive out at 00:01, you’ll have to pay twice.

Signs indicating the CAZ are white in background, with black text writing and a green cloud.

What vehicles have to pay the Bradford Clean Air Zone charge?

While some Clean Air Zones see drivers of non-compliant cars charged, Bradford’s CAZ does not.

Bradford’s CAZ is a class C+ Clean Air Zone, so rather than penalise private car and motorbike drivers, it instead targets vans (light goods vehicles, or LGVs), taxis, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses, campervans and motorhomes.

Bradford’s CAZ uses broadly the same emission standards as London’s ULEZ, so diesel vans not meeting Euro 6 emissions standards (generally those sold new prior to Sept 2015) and petrol vans not meeting Euro 4 rules (generally those sold new before 2006) have to pay a daily fee if they enter Bradford’s CAZ.

HGVs, buses and coaches use a different set of emission standards to light vans, but here again Euro 6 (known as Euro VI for heavy vehicles) is the standard to meet, which trucks, buses etc produced prior to 2014 likely to attract Bradford’s CAZ charge.

How much is the Bradford Clean Air Zone charge?

Charges to drive into Bradford’s CAZ in a non-compliant vehicle range from £7 a day for minicabs and taxis, rising to £9 for vans, plus minibuses and campers under 3.5 tonnes, and topping out at £50 a day for heavy goods vehicles, coaches, buses, and campers weighing more than 3,500kg.

How to pay the Bradford Clean Air Zone charge

If you need to pay the Bradford CAZ you should head over to the Government’s CAZ page (zones outside of London are managed by Westminster) and follow the step-by-step process to pay via card.

Fail to pay the fee when it’s due and you face a fine of £120, plus the charge your vehicle attracted.

Are there any exemptions from paying the Bradford clean air zone charge?

Bradford Council offers a number of exemptions for the CAZ, but these are not applied automatically so you must register for these if you think you qualify.

Exemptions exist for vehicles used by charities and school buses (though these must meet Euro IV standards), while Bradford residents can apply for one, as can the emergency services.

Exemptions must be applied for via the Council.

Can I appeal a Bradford Clean Air Zone charge?

If you think you have been incorrectly issued a penalty charge for driving in Bradford’s CAZ you can appeal to the council using its online form. If appealing, you should not pay the charge, as the council will consider this an acceptance of the fine, and close the case.

Reasons for appealing, and the process of how to do this, will be explained on the penalty charge you receive.

Is there any financial support to get a compliant vehicle for the Bradford clean air zone?

Bradford set aside £10 million to help local companies and charities upgrade their vehicles. These vehicles must have been registered to an address within the Bradford Metropolitan District since at least 18 October 2021, with 2,3000 grants of up to £4,500 available for vans and minibuses.

There’s also a Clean Air Taxi Fund Programme aimed at minicabs and taxis, providing between £3,200 and £10,000 towards the cost of upgrading a vehicle.

A Clean Air HDV Fund Programme, meanwhile, provides support to local businesses and charities, with up to £16,000 available per vehicle – though conditions for this grant are complex, and best read about on Bradford Council’s website, which is where all grants should be applied for.