Around 4,000 people have signed a 'Let Bristol Breathe' petition over the last week calling on the Mayor to take urgent action to establish a Clean Air Zone in Bristol. The petition will be presented to Full Council on Tuesday this week.
Jane Stevenson, who started the petition, said:
“People are clearly passionate about this. Air pollution can cause serious damage to people's health and it is now estimated that at least 300 people a year in Bristol die from its effects. The government originally blocked Bristol from having a Clean Air Zone and it is now time for Bristol's Mayor to stand up and demand that this is reversed.”
As a result of the petition and feedback on a survey which showed that 50% of people in inner Bristol believe that air pollution is affecting their health, the Green Council Group have put forward a motion to Council this week to ask for urgent steps to be taken to create a Clean Air Zone and to encourage more walking, cycling and better public transport in the city.
Green Councillor Jerome Thomas who has been campaigning to clean up Bristol’s air said:
“This campaign shows just how many people care about Bristol’s air and are keen to work together to get it improved.”
“I am delighted that the Mayor and local MPs have recently expressed their support for the Let Bristol Breathe campaign, and hope that the Clean Air motion will receive support across the political spectrum at tomorrow’s Full Council meeting. 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. We also need their help to call on central government to let Bristol have its own Clean Air Zone.”
Recent weeks have seen stalls across the city asking people what they think about Bristol’s air and Green Party MP and co-leader Caroline Lucas and MEP Molly Scott-Cato both visited Bristol to raise awareness of the issue. The Green Clean Air motion will be heard at the end of the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 8th November.
More information on the Let Bristol Breathe campaign can be found here: http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/airpollution