New official government figures  submitted to the European Commission, show that the government has failed to make any significant progress in tackling air pollution since a court ordered it to 18 months ago. Bristol was named and shamed as one of the areas of the UK that have got worse since the government was ordered to clean up its act 18 months ago .
Bristol’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, and transport and air pollution lead, Cllr Jerome Thomas have united to condemn the lack of action from both government and the local council.
Molly Scott Cato said:
“This government’s own figures now confirm what Greens have been saying for a long time. They show clearly that as of the end of 2016, 37 out of 43 zones are in breach of EU pollution limits. These unsafe and illegal air pollution limits are putting our health at risk. The government’s failure to act in any significant way is deeply shocking. They are only interested in kicking this problem down the road. Actions like banning diesel and petrol cars by 2040 will come too late: we face a public health emergency in our cities now.”
Green Cllr Jerome Thomas added,
“In Bristol Green Cllrs have been at the forefront of a campaign to force the council into taking this seriously. Cllr Fi Hance, the Green Party Cabinet member, has now taken on leading on our approach to clean up Bristol's air after years of insufficient action. We know what needs to happen, we need to restrict the most polluting vehicles from the city centre, we need to properly invest in cycling and walking, and we need to support taxis and buses to clean up their fleets."
Clarification: On Thursday 5th October this press release was sent with an incorrect quote attributed to Cllr Jerome Thomas that did not reflect his views or those of other Green Councillors. The quote has since been corrected. Please accept our apologies for any confusion or misunderstanding that this may have caused.