A NEW "advanced fuel centre" that would allow Bradford Council's HGV fleet to switch to greener energy could be built at Bowling Back Lane.

The Council is planning to convert much of its vehicle stock from petrol and diesel to greener energy sources in the coming years in a bid to improve air quality.

While smaller and "light goods" vehicles will move to electric, larger vehicles will transition to compressed natural or biomethane gas power.

Up to 77 Council vehicles would benefit from the station.

At a meeting of the Council's Executive on Tuesday, members will be asked to move forward with plans to build an advanced fuel centre at the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Bowling Back Lane.

If the scheme goes ahead, it could be operational by 2021 and would be available to private companies as well as used for Council vehicles.

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The scheme is expected to cost £1.8 million to build.

A report tot he Executive says: "The site is adjacent to the Local Transmission System (LTS) operated by Northern Gas Networks As project partners, NGN is seeking approval from OfGem to award Innovation Funding of £770,000 to cover the costs of accessing the LTS high pressure main.

"Waste Management has identified that a gas refuelling station can be accommodated at Bowling Back Lane by moving the Household Waste Recycling Facility to the rear of the Council owned site with a new access road from Birkshall Lane.

"The Council plans to replace 77 heavy goods vehicles that are already included in the agreed fleet replacement programme with compressed gas variants, including refuse collection vehicles, articulated lorries, tankers and hook-loaders.

"Tippers may also be included but have not been considered in this assessment.

"The vehicle types chosen are the heavy-duty fleet and on average they each consume 14,000 litres of diesel per annum."

The report says the recent Clean Air Zone consultation found "14 out of 48 businesses with fleets that responded saying that they were either likely or very likely to use the facility.

"The Road Haulage Association, with 7,000 members covering 250,000 vehicles, said that its members would be very likely to use the AFC.

"Additionally, any Bradford vehicle operator, including the Council, will be eligible for a proposed grant of £15,000 to upgrade HGVs to Clean Air Zone Standard up to the beginning of 2022, including switching to gas vehicles."

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for Healthy People and Healthy Places, said: “We are committed to preventing climate change and this is an investment that helps make the district a greener place by reducing the emissions of green house gases in the district.

“It will also provide a facility that will see cost savings for the Council and local businesses prepared to match our ambition by turning their HGV fleets from diesel to compressed gas.

“The site is perfectly placed to offer this important piece of infrastructure which will offer long term benefits to the whole district as we all look to reduce our carbon footprints.”

The Executive meets online next Tuesday and will decide whether to progress with funding and a planning application for the scheme.