Clean Air Zone commitment by Mayor after Green campaign #LetBristolBreathe
Bristol Greens are celebrating the unanimous vote in support of a Clean Air Zone for Bristol. The vote followed a Green Party motion put to the November full council meeting.
The vote follows work by Greens for much of 2015 to see action gets taken to clean up Bristol’s illegal air limits including tabling a clean air motion at Full Council, supporting local residents to get over 4,000 signatures calling for a clean air zone and collecting surveys on air pollution across the city.”
Actually it started before 2015
Green legend GlennVowles was campagning for clean air in 1989.
This started in February of this year when a motion to a budget amendment proposed by Jerome Thomas was defeated by other parties. The amendment – if passed – would have funded to work out the detail of how a Clean Air Zone might work.
5 point plan
Greens worked up a 5 point plan – based on the Policy Exchange 10 point plan. This calls for more walking and cycling, cleaner buses, supporting cleaner taxis, restrictions on the most polluting cars from entering Bristol, and promoting electric vehicles and car clubs.
In the autumn of this year, the Greens launched a survey of Bristol residents to find out their views on air pollution. It consisted of both an on-line survey and paper based surveying carried out at a variety of locations around the city (mainly in inner Bristol). It established that over half of those surveyed believe their health is affected by the different pollutants. It also established overwhelming support for each of the parts of the 5 point plan.
Subsequently, Greens heavily supported and promoted a petition for Clean Air (which basically said more or less everything we asked for – handy that!). The 38 degrees petition got just under 4,200 signatures in a fortnight.
Obviously, the Green Party couldn’t endorse the hanging of gas marks on statues along with ‘Let Bristol Breathe’ banners. But it seems someone did just that.
The motion to full council asked Bristol to lobby for its inclusion in a Clean Air Zone; it commits it to having a Clean Air Zone, once legislation is in place; it includes the 5 point plan; it requires a robust air quality strategy; and it requires longer term targets.
We will be discussing this . But - well, getting a motion unanimously through a council meeting is great, but the air is no cleaner today. So a key part of what we need to do is to see this thing through.
Beyond that, there are a whole set of things that need to be addressed – ranging from setting up a local Clean Air alliance to addressing other causes of air pollutants.
But the work doesn’t stop there – lives are being shortened every day so there is no time for delay. We need to see our Mayor and MPs take immediate action in Bristol to remove the barriers to clean air, including cleaning up the bus fleet, supporting taxis to meet clean emission standards and restricting heavily polluting vehicles from the most polluted streets in our city.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your views. Drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or by email.