GREEN councillors are urging Bradford Council to call on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to withdraw funding support for transport links to Leeds Bradford Airport. 

A motion put forward by Martin Love and Kevin Warnes, Green councillors for Shipley, will be discussed at Tuesday's Full Council meeting. 

It slams WYCA’s “growth-driven strategy" as “socially-exclusive, environmentally unsustainable and therefore incompatible with its own Climate Emergency declaration and those from councils across the region”. 

The motion asks Bradford Council to note: “air travel (passengers and freight) was responsible for over 900 million tonnes of CO2 pollution in 2018.

“Aviation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the UK have more than doubled since 1990, according to the Climate Change Committee.

“The International Council on Clean Transportation estimates that CO2 emissions from aviation will triple by 2050.

“On current trends, aviation-related greenhouse gas emissions will contribute up to 15% of global warming from all human activities within 50 years. The Climate Change Committee recommended in September that the UK should plan for “net-zero emissions by 2050” for aviation, and stated that this “means reducing actual emissions” in the aviation sector.

“WYCA is planning to invest in transport links to Leeds Bradford Airport in order to facilitate its continued expansion, despite the fact that 70 per cent of flights are taken by just 15 per cent of the population and most people do not fly at all in the typical year.

“WYCA’s growth-driven strategy is socially-exclusive, environmentally unsustainable and therefore incompatible with its own Climate Emergency declaration and those from councils across the region.”

It asks the Council to call on WYCA to: “Withdraw funding support for transport links to Leeds Bradford Airport, including for highways projects designed in part to facilitate additional road traffic to and from the airport - such as the South East Bradford Link Road through the Tong valley.”

It also calls for those funds to be reinvested in sustainable forms of travel across West Yorkshire and “apply the principles of their Declaration of a Climate Emergency” in all its decisions. 

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: "In common with West Yorkshire councils, the Combined Authority has declared a climate emergency and set an ambitious target of becoming a net-zero carbon City Region by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress to have been made by 2030.

"At our Combined Authority meeting (October 10) we set out our Clean Growth Action Plan which includes measures we are taking across our own operations and ensuring we have information about the impact on climate change when making decisions.

“Through our West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund we are investing in new infrastructure which helps to ease congestion and improve air quality, increase public transport reliability and give people more options for walking and cycling.   And, through the Connecting Leeds programme, we are developing plans to build a new rail station to serve Leeds Bradford Airport so that more people can travel there by public transport.

“Aviation is responsible for an increasing proportion of harmful emissions and we recognise that unmanaged or un-mitigated air travel growth is inconsistent with both local, national and international emission reduction targets. That’s why we are continuing to urge the Government to set out a national approach to help address these challenges.”