ELECTRIFYING buses and taxis is one suggestion as a way of improving Bradford’s hazardous levels of air pollution.

In October Bradford Council was given a year to draw up plans to try to reduce pollution in the district, after it emerged that nitrogen dioxide levels on some roads were unlikely to reach legal levels until 2027.

The authority was given a Ministerial Direction to draw up a plan to drastically improve air quality, and members of the Council’s decision making executive will receive an update on these plans tomorrow.

So far the Government has provided the Council with £1,102,550 of funding to move ahead with its work.

The Bradford Air Quality Plan is now being developed, and an Outline Business Case will be submitted by October 31.

The plan outlines the case for change and includes the evidence base that the Council has developed in assessing air quality and associated health impacts such as respiratory problems, heart attacks and strokes, low birth weight babies and premature deaths.

Bradford Council ordered to reduce pollution around district's busiest roads

The Council will use Clean Air Day on June 20 to launch “extensive stakeholder engagement” that will help shape the plan.

A report going to the Executive next week lists options available to the Council to tackle the problem.

These include two different “packages” of options.

One would see new highway engineering works to reduce congestion in pollution hotspots, measures to prioritise buses and publis transport on busy routes, better travel planning measures and the introduction of park & ride systems.

The other “package” would see the introduction of zero emission buses, better support for electric vehicle uptake, including electrifying the Council’s vehicle fleet, taxis, and support to businesses and the public to switch to electric, introducing ultra-low emission measures for new developments and a “targeted boiler replacement programme.”

Other changes could include adding car charging points to new streetlights and fitting home charge points for Council employed drivers.

The Council says the changes would be implemented in 2021/22 and “should bring about compliance with the EU Limit Value by 2022/23.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places said: “Investing now to improve air quality in Bradford will not only help to reduce environmental risks but will also aim to sustain a growing green economy which, nationally, is one of the fastest growing sectors.

“By developing the Bradford Air Quality Plan we want to improve health across the district and with minimum economic impact”

The Council will be working in collaboration with partner agencies to make a difference including transport sectors, Born in Bradford and the NHS on health research projects and using their data to support on going work.

Other local authorities given a government directive to develop air quality plans are Portsmouth, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Bolsover, Broxbourne, Liverpool and Leicester.

Bradford Council’s Executive meets on Tuesday June 11 in City Hall at 10.30am.