NEW 20mph zones are being introduced in Keighley.

The move is part of a roll-out across the Bradford district, with £150,000 being invested in measures to improve road safety and air quality.

Keighley 20mph zones are proposed in areas around St Joseph’s School, University Academy Keighley, All Hikmah, St Anne’s Primary, Holy Family and the Cliffe Castle access.

Sixteen streets are covered.

The initiative, announced to coincide with Clean Air Day, forms part of Bradford Council’s Safer Roads programme.

It aims to help create a better environment for walking and cycling.

And the council says evidence suggests that slower traffic speeds improve air quality, with vehicles accelerating and decelerating more smoothly.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “The 20mph zones are an important part of improving the lives of everyone in the district, particularly young people.

“We’ve looked into the areas that most need action taken to reduce accidents and injuries to the public.

“This is the largest ever roll-out of 20mph zones in Bradford district that we’ve done.

“It is important we continue to look at how we can further improve our roads to make a real impact on the health of people in the district, not just for Clean Air Day, but for every day after that.”

Air pollution is linked to more than 200 early deaths a year across the Bradford district and can cause asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and other respiratory diseases.

The council, along with eight other local authorities throughout the country, is working with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit on developing plans to tackle the pollution levels.

Last October, Bradford Council was given a year to draw-up a plan after it emerged that nitrogen dioxide levels on some roads were unlikely to reach legal levels until 2027.

So far, the Government has provided the council with £1,102,550 to move ahead with its work.

Public consultation will be held to help shape a final business case for submission early next year.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said “Investing now to improve air quality in Bradford district will not only help to reduce environmental risks, but will also aim to sustain a growing green economy which nationally is one of the fastest-growing sectors.

“By developing the Bradford Air Quality Plan, we want to improve health across the district and with minimum economic impact.”

The plan outlines the case for change and includes the evidence base developed by the council in assessing air quality and associated health impacts, such as respiratory problems, heart attacks, strokes, low birth weight babies and premature deaths.

The council says changes would be implemented in 2021-22 and “should bring about compliance with the EU Limit Value by 2022-23”. Suggestions for helping to improve air quality include electrifying buses.