Saturday, June 19, 2021

Bradford business owners urged to register interest for Clean Air Zone grants

Owners of commercial vehicles in Bradford are being encouraged to register their interest for grants to upgrade their vehicles ahead of the launch of Bradford’s Clean Air Zone in January 2022.

The Clean Air Zone is being introduced under a government directive, with the district legally required to reduce harmful emissions and achieve legal air quality limits by 2022.

Bradford Council will be offering grants to help businesses in the district upgrade their vans, lorries, taxis and coaches to cleaner, less polluting versions or by retrofitting equipment to reduce the amount of emissions they emit.

Those that meet the new Clean Air Zone standards will be able to drive into the Zone without a charge, but older, more polluting commercial vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge. Private vehicles and motorbikes are unaffected by the Clean Air Zone.

Ahead of the official launch of the grants in July, the Council is now asking businesses to fill in an expression of interest on the Breathe Better Website.

The grants are being made available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Sole Traders/self-employed, education establishments and charities registered within the Bradford Metropolitan District.

Businesses which use vans or light goods vehicles, for example, could be entitled to grants of up to £4,500 while private hire cars and Hackney carriages can also apply for grants of up to £5,000.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for Healthy People and Healthy Places, said: “The government recognises the importance of the Clean Air strategy. This funding will enable us to improve air quality across the district, and not just in the planned Clean Air Zone.

“It is important that businesses take advantage of the grants available to invest in cleaner and, often, more economical vehicles to run.”

For many businesses, upgrading their vehicle could be a cost-effective alternative to paying the charge over the longer term in Bradford and in other Clean Air Zones. It may also offer businesses cost savings in fuel and maintenance.

The funding has been provided by the Government to support the Clean Air Plan. The Clean Air Plan aims to reduce levels of nitrogen oxides and improve the health of residents across the whole district in the shortest possible time.

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