Drivers of non-compliant HGVs entering Bradford will now be forced to pay £50 a day after the city launched its own clean air zone (CAZ).
Cars and motorbikes remain unaffected, but councillors have imposed the CAZ on lorries and vans that are not at least Euro-6 standard.
Bradford has been identified as exceeding air pollution levels at several locations and the metropolitan city council said many of these were in inner-city areas.
It said its CAZ has been designed around areas where the levels exceeded legal limits and it expected an average of 140,000 vehicles each day will drive through the zone.
It has calculated that chargeable, non-compliant vehicles will make up 4% of all traffic, due to local businesses having already upgraded their fleets.
Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of the council said: “Bradford is acting on a government directive to implement a charging Clean Air Zone.
“We know that air pollution levels are too high and have damaging impacts on the health of too many of our residents. There’s no escaping that fact.
“After protracted negotiations with the government, the CAZ has been designed very carefully to exempt private cars, motorbikes, and local businesses, while having an immediate and material impact on the air we all breathe.
“What we have to stop is polluting commercial vehicles from outside the district using Bradford as a de facto motorway, coming through the district but not stopping to do business here,” she added.
Europcar Vans and Trucks said it was offering businesses a number of solutions to comply: “Unexpected fines can mount up quickly and reduce the profitability of a job if drivers or their managers are not aware of the incoming regulations for any commercial vehicle not compliant,” explained Keith Shorter, Europcar director.
“And, with more and more clean air zones around the country, the big challenge for many businesses right now is upgrading their fleet in the face of limited new vehicle supply – as well as factoring in the additional expense at a time when operating costs are increasing.
“To support Bradford City’s bid to reduce air pollution and help local businesses and van drivers make positive changes to the way they travel around the city, we are offering a range of sustainable and flexible mobility options from our local branches.”