Green councillors are supporting communities across Bristol who are sick of air pollution and the congestion clogging the streets outside their homes and instead want to create ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods,’ streets where people and business come first, and communities can grow stronger. Liveable Neighbourhoods are supported by a broad network of community groups, including groups representing older people, young people and children, disabled people, people advocating travel by foot or bike, and groups tackling climate change, have come together to form Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol https://liveablebristol.org.uk/ to call for change.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods model builds on successes in parts of London, such as Waltham Forest, Birmingham and Manchester to prevent minor residential streets being used as rat-runs, while improving streets with parklets, play space and more greenery
Neighbourhoods choose to prevent traffic rat-running on certain through-roads, though those walking and on bikes are allowed through. Through-traffic is routed on bigger roads around the neighbourhood rather than through it. This makes local roads quieter for those who live there. Residents and their visitors are still able to enter, as are delivery vehicles.
Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Bristol Green Party candidate for Mayor, says:
“Bristol prides itself on being a good place to live – but it could be better, our neighbourhoods and communities should be built around people – places where children are safe on the streets, where the air is clean, business flourishes, and neighbours can meet and talk.
“Liveable Neighbourhoods are just that, neighbourhoods that are a good place to live. Neighbourhoods with only essential traffic entering – so that residents feel safe walking their children to school and we can breathe clean safe air. All the evidence shows Liveable Neighbourhoods means business flourishes because people stay and spend more – increasing much needed footfall and trade. Bristol should be leading the way.”
Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol, a new network of community groups, has launched a petition calling on the Mayor to work with local communities to introduce Liveable Neighbourhoods across the city by 2024.
Carla Denyer, Councillor for Clifton Down ward, explains:
“This isn’t about imposing things on people, it’s about listening to what they want. The exact changes needed will differ from place to place, as local people tend to know their streets best and what needs to change.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has also made it even more urgent to address our air pollution problem, as there is increasing evidence that those who breathe dirty air are more likely to be badly affected by the virus. And many local businesses and cafes are desperate for more outside space to help boost their recovery – which is achievable with a Liveable Neighbourhoods model.
“When I speak to residents across the city they are crying out for change. It is high time our streets become the thriving hearts of our communities again.”
Alex Stephenson, a spokesperson for Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol, says:
“There is a huge appetite from local people across Bristol to unlock the potential of our streets and public spaces, to make them safer, quieter, healthier, and more pleasant. Rat-running traffic on residential streets impacts the life quality of too many Bristol residents and now is the time to do something about it.”
“We’re delighted that Bristol Green Party are supporting our campaign and look forward to working with them and other stakeholders in Bristol to create Liveable Neighbourhoods across the city.”