Agenda item

BRADFORD CLEAN AIR PLAN - CLEAN AIR ZONE INFRASTRUCTURE PROCUREMENT

This report of the Interim Strategic Director for Place is to advise Members of the intention to undertake a procurement in excess of £2m to supply Automatic Number Plate Cameras and associated network connection infrastructure required for the implementation of a Clean Air Zone in accordance with the requirements of Contract Standing Order 4.7.4. (Document “J”)

 

Recommended –

 

That the Committee note the contents of this report and the proposed timing of the procurement of Clean Air Zone infrastructure.

 

(Richard Gelder – 01274 437603)

Minutes:

The report of the Interim Strategic Director, Place was submitted to the Committee to advise Members of the intention to undertake procurement of Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera (ANPR) plus associated network connectivity infrastructure as part of the implementation of a Clean Air Zone.  The scheme is in response to a requirement from Government to tackle roadside Nitrogen Dioxide levels at the roadside in line with EU Limit values in as quick a timescale as possible.

 

The full business case was submitted to Government on 30 September 2020 and the procurement value would be in excess of £2 million.  Funding would not be confirmed until a procurement exercise was completed and the intention was to implement a clean air zone from January 2022.

 

A question and answer session followed and is detailed below:

 

·         A Member asked why this was being done so quickly and should the Council not be studying traffic patterns, especially in light of the changes due to the COVID-19 lockdown? 

·      In response, Officers advised that there had been a large amount of work carried out at the time of the first lockdown to see if there was any drop in pollutants, but levels did not go below the EU Limit Value even then, indicating that there was still a problem.  Traffic levels had not yet peaked following lockdown 2.

 

·         The issue of cars without registered keepers was raised and whether other unidentified vehicles would be targeted.  It was also asked whether the new system would be integrated with existing systems. 

·      In response, Officers advised that the new cameras would not be purely ANPR but would make better use of data to capture vehicle and pedestrian movements and for the purposes of crime and disorder.  The discussions around the possibility of sharing information with West Yorkshire Police was already underway in relation to tracing, identifying and carrying out enforcement work for registered keepers and would be more comprehensive than just for clean air zone use.  In terms of integrating with existing systems, the new one would complement them as the existing ones were older technology with information from the Council’s cameras coming into its own data centre.

 

·         A Member asked about rules for infrastructure installation to ascertain that there would be for example, no compromise to pedestrian safety on pavements. 

·      Officers advised that equipment would be installed by Council staff using existing poles wherever possible.  Cabinets would be appropriately placed and cameras were small in size being slightly larger than existing CCTV cameras.

 

·         It was stated that the pollution levels had not reduced as it had been hoped for during lockdown with particular schools whose children were being exposed to high levels of particulates and Ward Councillors were working on strategies to involve and engage communities and welcomed this.  Bradford’s topography also presents its own issues being bowl shaped.

 

·         Clarification was sought on the EU clean air threshold levels for nitrogen dioxide and what target was being aimed for. 

·           Officers confirmed that the limit was 40 micrograms per cubic metre.  A small level for small particles.  The target was to get below 40 micrograms per cubic metre but this would vary in different areas.

 

·         Members sought to ascertain how the cameras would help

·      It was confirmed by Officers that cameras would control vehicles that polluted more when they came into the district and would encourage fleet managers to upgrade or update their fleets with incentives being offered to do so.

 

·         The use of cars was rising and income had reduced for public transport and taxis etc., had this been factored in and was any help available for those trying to earn a living?

·      It was advised that there were discussions underway with the Government and any decisions around grants would come from them.

 

·         One Member stated that the scheme needed to be expedited and asked how non-compliant vehicles would be charged.

·      The scheme was a national one and clean air zone payments were controlled by Government.  There was a clean air zone checker on the Gov.uk website which would tell a driver whether a charge was applicable and give time to make a payment.  The balance of which would be given to the Council.  If no payment was received then the details would be passed to the Council to issue a fixed penalty notice.

 

·         A question regarding the provision of adequate signage was also asked.

·      It was confirmed that signage would be placed so that drivers would know in advance that they were entering a clean air zone.

 

·          A Member asked how frequently charges would be applied.

·      It was confirmed that charging would be on a daily basis but did not limit how many times in the day the clean air zone could be accessed.  The method and flexibility of payments would be decided by the Government.

 

Resolved –

 

That the contents of the report and the proposed timing of the procurement of Clean Air Zone infrastructure be noted.

 

ACTION: Interim Strategic Director, Place

 

 

Supporting documents: