Bradford’s clean air zone (CAZ) has seen a significant improvement in air quality levels, according to the council, with some of the lowest NO2 levels monitored since records began.

Since September 2022, non-compliant HGVs have been charged £50 a day to enter the West Yorkshire city and grants worth more than £20m have been handed out to businesses to upgrade their vehicles.

The council said its automatic monitoring sites showed that Market Street in the city centre showed NO2 levels had reduced from 45 in 2021 to 39 in 2022, which was below the legal limit of 40.

It added that compliant HGVs had increased from around 80% to 97% by the end of July 2023 and compliance among vans had increased from 50% to 70%.

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Councillor Susan Hinchliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “We all have a moral, environmental, and legal responsibility to make Bradford’s air cleaner and improve the health of our residents and visitors.

“We want to thank businesses and transport partners who were using the grants available to upgrade vehicles in advance of the launch of the CAZ. It’s good to see these measures translating into improvements in air quality.”

“The number of non-compliant vehicles has fallen due to vehicles upgrades and changes to fleet composition, this improves air quality not just in Bradford but throughout West Yorkshire.”

Hinchliffe added: “Grants are still available to Bradford businesses and residents who wish to upgrade non-compliant vehicles along with specific grants to assist taxi drivers to switch to electric vehicles.”