‘No plans to ban diesel’ in city

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WORK to improve air quality in inner-city Bradford will not lead to a ban on diesel vehicles in the city, according to a council leader.

A report to Bradford Council highlights a range of ideas to reduce vehicle emissions and the possible creation of a ‘low emission zone’.

Diesel cars are responsible for a lot of the harmful nitrogen dioxide in Bradford and, according to the report, “measures to control or limit their use could have significant benefits.”

The council is carrying out analysis to look at the costs of measures that may “discourage the use of certain diesel vehicles in Bradford,” says the Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study report.

The report does not say what could be done to discourage diesel vehicles.

However, a ban on diesel cars - which some European cities have imposed - looks unlikely.

The report states: “It should be noted that the development of policies to limit/control the use of diesel cars will require analysis of the financial complexities that go beyond the remit of this study...”

Council leader David Green told The Yorkshire Post there are no plans to ban diesel in the city.

The report notes that Bradford and the wider West Yorkshire area have the fourth most significant nitrogen dioxide concentration after London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

The World Health Organisation classifies diesel exhaust emissions as cancer causing.

The council’s executive meets next week to consider what to do to improve air quality and reduce emissions.

Encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport is one option.

Work is also expected to take place to encourage bus companies across West Yorkshire to “clean up the buses”, which run on diesel.

The council says it is already working towards reducing vehicle emissions by the installation of electric vehicle charging points in all new developments, giving the Bradford district the highest number of electric vehicle charging points outside London.

Another measure has seen Bradford Council working with bus operators to fit emissions filters to buses, thanks to a Government grant of £394,000.

The council is also leading a West Yorkshire project to develop a low emission strategy for the whole area.

A project board has been set up with representatives from all five councils and public health officials.

All councils are keen to act so as to avoid potential EU fines which may be passed to them from central government.

The Low Emission Zone Study also indicates that gas technology could help the bus companies clean up their transport fleet.

Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Studies such as this will lead to health benefits for people living and working in Bradford as well as doing less harm to the environment.

“This will include such activities as transport planning, cycling policy, fleet procurement and management, waste management, land use planning, raising public awareness and promoting best practice.”

The Study will be debated by the Executive at its meeting at City Hall, on Tuesday, March 10.