Third anniversary of Bradford council’s declaration of a climate emergency policies – councillors must do much more

All West Yorkshire councils declared a climate emergency in the first half of 2019, starting with Bradford on 15th January and ending with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) on June 27th 2019.

Although transport emissions were identified by WYCA in June 2020 as the main source of greenhouse gases, WYCA’s Transport Committee has not considered a single report on the issue since then. Transport emissions have not reduced at all in the past decade.

The expansion of traffic capacity planned for Bradford-Shipley must be reviewed; the investment could be used instead to encourage less pollution from transport, not more.  Current plans will generate considerably more air pollution through increased traffic volumes and congestion at bottlenecks.  Instances of respiratory illness amongst the vulnerable including children with developing lungs and the elderly with vulnerable lungs is evidenced in our local hospitals and GP surgeries across the whole Bradford area.

West Yorkshire campaigners have said in an open letter to each member of WYCA transport committee:

It is the responsibility of the WYCA Transport Committee to take the lead in facing up to this decarbonisation challenge, but our submission to you is that so far you have failed to discharge that responsibility.”

In December, Councillors in Bradford learned that the Bradford-Shipley road scheme has been amended, but no details of the amendments have been released. BSTA has always said that consultation must happen with full information about likely levels of traffic and air pollution. A change in the scheme will need approval. BSTA have asked what these changes are, and how they will be approved, and is waiting for a response. Bradford residents need the changes to prioritise the health of Bradford residents, and reduce greenhouse gases.

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