Air Quality -; it’s a hot topic in Bristol at the moment, and rightly so. With 300 people dying from it a year in our city alone, and many more affected by poor health, it’s a crisis that needs solving now.
It’s something that affects all of us, and is something that we can all play a part in tackling. So whilst I’ve written in this blog before on the issue, I thought it would be useful to give a quick update on where we are, and some campaigns that may be of interest:
Clean Air Plan
Options for the Clean Air Action Plan for Bristol came to the council’s cabinet in March. Five options have been shortlisted to bring us in compliance with the law in the shortest possible time. These include four options which have a charging element, within which there are two geographical options. One of these covers the city centre and Hotwells, whilst the other is larger and adds St Andrews, Montpelier, Cotham, Bedminster, St Philip’s and parts of Easton and Redland. The five options are now being worked on further to flesh them out and move towards picking the option that will be taken forward. Cllr Kye Dudd, the cabinet member, has written a blog for Bristol 24/7 on the subject: https://www.bristol247.com/opinion/your-say/cleaning-bristols-air/
Other Council Measures
In addition to the Clean Air Plan, the council is also making good progress to tackle air pollution on other fronts. We have already smashed the council’s carbon emissions reduction target, and are on track to be a clean energy-powered, carbon neutral city by 2050. We are upgrading the council’s vehicle fleet to low emission vehicles, and are installing more electric vehicle charging points across the city. We have also secured 110 new carbon neutral biogas buses for Bristol, and have won funding to retrofit more than 80 of the city’s most polluting buses. We’ve also improved air quality monitoring and have added monitors outside schools. And we’re continuing with multi-million pound investments in renewable energy and heat networks.
ClairCity is an EU project working between universities, local authorities and other organisations to inform citizens about the threat posed by air pollution, and to help them to combat it. Bristol City Council and the University of the West of England are partners in the project. The ClairCity website has a wealth of information that can help you find out more about air pollution: http://www.claircity.eu In addition, last week they launched an exciting new game app called ClairCity Skylines. You can take charge of Bristol and try to reduce the city’s air pollution in the shortest possible time, all whilst keeping the public, and your bank balance, happy. Give it a go here: http://www.claircity.eu/bristol/game-and-app/
Bristol Breathing Better
Thangam Debbonaire, the MP for Bristol West, has started a Facebook page to keep people updated about her work on air quality and to let you know how you can get involved: https://www.facebook.com/BristolBreathingBetter
Clean Air Bishopston
Finally, a quick preview of a project that I have been working on called Clean Air Bishopston. Led by the Bishopston Society and Sustainable Bishopston, a small project team has been working to establish an information hub where people can learn about air quality and take action to improve it. The site will be launching soon, watch this space!