Bradford Clean Air Zone (CAZ) – the 2024 guide

    The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Bradford has been brought in to improve air quality following several years of studying high air pollution levels in the local area. It was subsequently discovered that the poor air quality was negatively impacting many local people’s health. 

    The Bradford CAZ covers most of the city, including the outer ring road, extending along the Aire Valley corridor – Manningham Lane and Bradford Road to the Canal Road area – including Shipley and Saltaire.

    Bradford has one of many CAZ being rolled out across the UK. If you are driving a passenger car or motorbike, or the vehicle you are driving meets the required emission standards, you will be exempt from CAZ charges. It’s van and large vehicle drivers who need to check their compliance with the Bradford CAZ.

    For more information about Bradford’s CAZ, read on.

    Does Bradford have a Clean Air Zone?

    Yes, Bradford operates a Class-C CAZ. This means that all vehicles, except for private cars and motorbikes – or those vehicles meeting required emission standards – will be charged in the zone. Since its launch in September 2022, drivers of buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) that do not comply with the required emissions standards have been fined £50, vans and minibuses £9, and taxis £7. 

    Before the implementation of the CAZ, new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras were installed around the city centre, and along the Shipley/Bradford corridor, to monitor vehicles entering the zone.

    Bradford operates a Class C Clean Air Zone, meaning that vans, LGVs, HGVs, and other large vehicles are charged when non-compliant.

    What is a Clean Air Zone (CAZ)?

    Air pollution has been a long-standing problem in Bradford, with levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) exceeding the legal limits set by the European Union. These pollutants are primarily produced by road traffic, and the city’s busy roads have been identified as a major source of pollution. 

    There has been a growing awareness of the health effects of air pollution in recent years, which has led to increased pressure on governments to take action. In 2015, the UK government was taken to court by environmental group ClientEarth, which argued that the government’s plans to reduce air pollution were inadequate. In response, the government was ordered to produce a new plan for reducing air pollution in the UK.

    Clean Air Zones were found to be an effective way of improving air quality in urban areas with heavy traffic. There were already some LEZ in existence, e.g. in London, which have typically been bespoke in design, depending on the needs and infrastructure of the area. 

    Clean Air Zones, however, all follow a scheme. They are graded in ‘classes’ from A to D, based on what vehicles will be charged to enter the zone if they don’t comply with emissions standards:

    ClassVehicle type
    ABuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
    BBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
    CBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, light goods vehicles (LGVs), vans, minibuses
    DBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, LGVs, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles
    UK CAZ classifications and the vehicles they apply to.

    Any town or city running a CAZ has the same compliance standards in place:

    Vehicle typeCAZ minimum standard
    MotorcyclesEuro 3
    Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, carsEuro 4 (petrol engine) and Euro 6 (diesel engine)
    Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehiclesEuro V1
    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)Automatically compliant
    CAZ compliance minimum standards by vehicle type

    Where is the Bradford CAZ?

    Bradford’s Clean Air Zone covers the outer ring road and extends out along the Aire Valley corridor – Manningham Lane and Bradford Road to Canal Road area – to include the historic towns of Shipley and Saltaire. The zone is clearly signposted from outside the area.

    Breathe Better Bradford has made an interactive map available.

    When did the Bradford CAZ start?

    The Bradford CAZ was initially set to be launched in January 2022. However, the project was delayed, finally going live on 26 September 2022. 

    Locally, Bradford Council has presented the CAZ programme under the title of ‘breathe better BRADFORD’. However, the introduction of the Clean Air Zone has been met with conflict from Bradford locals protesting a tax on vehicles entering the city – with many protesters suggesting it would cripple small and medium-sized local businesses that are already struggling due to the national ‘cost of living’ crisis.  

    However, the scheme was welcomed by campaigners for cleaner air, with one group, Asthma and Lung UK stating that Bradford had the worst hospitalisation rate in Yorkshire of children with breathing difficulties. The Bradford Institute for Health Research has also pointed out that almost half the schools in Bradford will be in the Clean Air Zone and therefore local children will be shielded from the toxic effects of traffic-related air pollution.

    The delays of the CAZ rollout were also criticised by many taxi companies, whose drivers had been forced to take out extensive short-term loans to upgrade their vehicles for the deadline in January 2022, only for the scheme to be pushed back to spring. 

    Are there grants for getting a compliant vehicle for the Bradford CAZ?

    The grant application window for the Bradford CAZ is still open and is there to support the replacement or retrofitting of non-compliant vehicles for them to reach compliant emissions standards; or to assist with the running costs of electric vehicles.

    Grants are also available to small and medium-sized local businesses (with under 250 employees), the self-employed, educational establishments, and charities registered within the Bradford Metropolitan District.

    You can find information on the open grants:

    ·      Clean Air Taxi Fund Programme

    ·      Clean Air LGV and Minibus Fund Programme

    ·      Clean Air HDV Fund Programme

    As of May 2023, all funding schemes are open for applications. 

    What does it cost to drive in Bradford?

    The Bradford CAZ charge can be paid up to six days before and after driving within the zone. 

    The charges are as follows:

    Vehicle Compliance regulationsCharge
    HGVsMinimum Euro 6 – diesel including alternative fuels (such as biodiesel)£50
    BusesMinimum Euro 6 – diesel including alternative fuels (such as biodiesel)£50
    CoachesMinimum Euro 6 – diesel£50
    MinibusesEuro 6 – diesel / Euro 4 – petrol / Euro 4 – LPG£9
    LGVsEuro 6 – diesel / Euro 4 – petrol / Euro 4 – LPG£9
    Hackney carriagesEuro 6 – diesel / Euro 4 – petrol / Euro 4 – LPG£7
    Private cars and motorcyclesNon-applicableNone
    Bradford’s CAZ charges, for different types of vehicle

    Does the Bradford CAZ have exemptions or exceptions?

    Yes, like all CAZ in the UK, the Bradford Clean Air Zone has some exceptions to the daily charge. There are some exempt vehicle categories that are fixed by the government as part of any CAZ in the UK:

    Nationally-exempt vehicles:

    ·      Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class

    ·      Some agricultural vehicles

    ·      Registered historic vehicles

    ·      Military vehicles

    ·      Ultra-low emission vehicles

    ·      Vehicles retrofitted under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)

    Vehicles that are exempt nationally from CAZ charges. Information from

    Local councils also have the authority to set up local exemptions. In the Bradford CAZ, local exemptions also include the following:

    Locally-exempt vehiclesEvidence needed
    Private hire vehicle
    (5-8 seats)
    Vehicle licensing document from the licensing authority
    Private hire vehicle(up to 4 seats)Vehicle licensing document and proof of approved certificate from installer
    Community transport vehiclesSection 19 or 22 permit under the Transport Act 1995 or proof vehicle is at least Euro 4 with DPF fitted
    School busesProof of contracts to provide service with Bradford Schools and pupils; and proof vehicle is at least Euro 4 with DPF fitted
    Specialist vehiclesBusiness ID (One of the following accounts, business bank statements, business rates bill, self-assessment tax return, 4 photographs, 1 from each side of the vehicle)
    Charity vehicles Registered Charity ID (charities commission document) and proof of service to Bradford districts residents (if based outside of district)
    Residents vehiclesNone required
    Vehicle types with local CAZ exemptions in Bradford

    How to check if your vehicle is compliant with Bradford CAZ

    To check that your petrol van or minivan is compliant with Euro 4 emissions standards, or that your diesel van or minivan is compliant with Euro 6, simply enter your reg in our ULEZ checker.

    London’s ULEZ is different from Bradford’s, in that it charges private passenger cars. However, vans and minivans across both cities have the same compliance criteria, so you can use our ULEZ Checker to make sure you can drive your van in Bradford without being subject to penalties.

    How to sell a non-compliant vehicle?

    If your vehicle is not compliant with Bradford’s CAZ, the good news is – you can still sell it, and invest in a compliant vehicle. To sell your non-compliant car quickly and easily, at Motorway we offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling, whatever the model.

    Sell with Motorway and our network of 5,000+ verified car dealers compete to give you their best price.

    Just enter your reg on the homepage and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. We’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Selling your car?

    Read about everything you need to know about how to sell your car with more guides here. There’s a lot to learn as Clean Air Zones and emissions standards in the UK change in the run-up to 2035.