Keighley’s MP Robbie Moore has renewed his opposition to Bradford Council's Clean Air Zone Tax, raising concerns from residents across East Morton with the Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt in Parliament.
Renewed opposition comes after residents across East Morton reported an increase in the number of HGV’s and large vehicles using the village as a rat-run since Labour-run Bradford Council launched its Clean Air Zone Tax on residents and businesses.
One resident reported over 150 HGV’s passing through the village in a single day.
Responding to Mr Moore, the Leader of the House said the Clean Air Zone scheme was “just a revenue raising exercise” which “doesn’t take into account someone’s ability to make the transition that is being asked of them”.
Speaking in the House of Commons Chamber, Mr Moore expressed alarm at the negative impacts the tax is having on local businesses and communities, saying:
”Can we have a debate on the negative impacts Labour-run Bradford council's Clean Air Zone tax is having on local businesses, not only in Keighley but also Shipley and within Bradford City itself, but also the negative impact it's having on local residents in villages like east Morton which are experiencing much higher levels of traffic congestion and speeding as a result of motorists choosing to take alternative routes to avoid labour's ridiculous tax on hard working people”.
Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, said:
”There are across the country good and sensible schemes which are a tackling air pollution. The issue that so many people have with this type of scheme that the honourable gentleman's constituents are having to endure - but also most notably residents and businesses in London - is that it is just a revenue raising exercise. It doesn't take into account someones ability to make the transition that is being asked of them…
The honourable gentleman will have traders and businesses that need to get into those communities and they are now being priced out of doing that we should be supporting people to keep more of the money that they earn for their businesses to thrive and you need to innovate and that is how we are going to make this transition”.
Speaking after the debate, Mr Moore renewed his calls for the Clean Air Zone to be scrapped, saying:
“Before the Clean Air Zone was launched, Labour-led Bradford Council's leader, Susan Hinchcliffe, said that ‘most businesses won't pay a penny’. We now know that this was absolutely not the case, with the Council raking in millions in fines on small businesses since the launch of CAZ.
Pushing on with this tax during a time of hardship for families and businesses across our district illustrates just how tone deaf Bradford Council has shown itself to be in the face of continued local opposition.
And now, residents in villages like East Morton are witnessing first-hand the impacts of CAZ, with a huge increase in traffic congestion and HGVs passing through the area reported to me on a weekly basis.
Bradford Council’s recent attempts to shift the blame and claim that this has nothing to do with the Clean Air Zone flies in the face of what residents are witnessing firsthand.
Put simply, the Clean Air Zone tax needs to be scrapped.”