OVER £10 million has been generated by the district's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) since it was introduced in September last year, new figures show.

And more than £6m of that came from the 142,697 penalty charges issued to motorists who hadn’t paid charges for driving non-compliant vehicles through the zone.

The figures are contained in a Bradford Council report reviewing the first year of the scheme.

Under the Clean Air Zone, commercial vehicles that fail to meet certain emission standards are charged a daily fee to enter Shipley and Bradford. Ordinary passenger cars are exempt.

The new report – which went before members of the council’s regeneration and environment scrutiny committee – shows that of the income from the CAZ, Bradford Council took £9,590,600 and the Government £785,634.

Details of how many people challenged penalty charge notices are also included in the document, which says a total of 21,037 representations against notices were received. The percentage of appeals which were successful was 3.3.

The council is required to ring-fence any income from the CAZ for environmental programmes, or schemes to reduce traffic.

A £1m clean air schools programme was amongst initiatives set up using the income.

It has offered funding to schools to reduce pollution around their sites, and a third of all Bradford-district schools have expressed an interest in the project.

Other schemes being rolled out include further grants to help owners upgrade their vehicles, the development of ventures to introduce hydrogen-powered vehicles, and plans for organic waste collections.

The report also contains data showing that NO2 levels in the CAZ area fell to their lowest in years over the summer. Although there was a slight rise in September, levels have since fallen again and have remained below the legal limit since January.

In the run-up to the CAZ being implemented, businesses were offered funding to help upgrade vehicles, and the report shows more than £20m has been spent upgrading taxis, vans and HGVs.

Latest data indicates that 99 per cent of the district's taxi fleet is now compliant.

The introduction of the CAZ proved controversial, with some arguing that pollution levels could have been reduced without charging motorists.

The report says: “The council looked at many options, including electric bus routes, traffic management, traffic light phasing and park-and-ride facilities, however a CAZ was the only option the Government would accept that achieved compliance in the shortest possible timeframe."