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Clean Air For Bristol Gathering – have your say on plans to tackle air pollution

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On July 12th the Partnership hosted a joint event with Bristol City Council to inform organisations across the city about the council’s proposals to tackle air pollution and enable them to have a say. The Clean Air Plan includes the implementation of a Clean Air Zone and aims to reduce levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in the city to legal limits in the shortest time possible.

The Clean Air Plan, which is still in development, is currently looking at five different packages of options to improve air quality. Four of these options include a charging Clean Air Zone, and all include a range of complementary measures. The preferred scheme will be determined by technical work, with a decision due in late 2018. Once approved, there will be further analysis and consultation before coming up with the Final Business Case. The aim is to deliver the scheme during 2019-20.

At the event, attendees were able to learn about the air pollution situation in Bristol, understand the process and details of the proposals for the Clean Air Plan, and give feedback to the council.

Want to learn more about the plan and have your say? Check out the actions at the bottom of the page.

Councillor Kye Dudd opened the event by highlighting that poor air quality is estimated to cause approximately 300 deaths per year in Bristol, and that this was just the “tip of the iceberg”.

Jo Barnes of the Air Quality Management Resource Centre at UWE followed with an overview of the causes of air pollution, the health impacts, and the national and local contexts.

Becky Lloyd of Jacobs, who are working with the council on the Clean Air Plan, then went into the detail of the plan, explaining the background, process, the five options currently being studied, and the next steps.

Mark Leach of Bristol City Council spoke about the council’s engagement programme and its desire to get views about the proposals from people and organisations across the city. Although the preferred scheme is being determined by technical factors, the detail of the plan will be influenced by feedback received.

Have your say – check out the actions below.

A large portion of the event was devoted to breakout discussions, allowing attendees to discuss and give their thoughts on specific areas of the proposals. The points raised during the group sessions will be fed into the development process, and the council reiterated how important this feedback was.

It was clear that attendees felt very passionately about air quality, and while a lot of negative impacts of the proposals were identified, there were also many practical ideas for mitigating these, and the benefits to our health and the environment were widely acknowledged. It is also highly complex issue, and the need for widespread education and engagement was strongly emphasised.

How you can get involved:

It’s a critical moment for determining the city’s approach to tackling air pollution and demonstrating how important clean air is to people and organisations across the city. However, many are currently unaware of the proposals on the table, and while the council is trying to reach as many people as possible, it also needs as much help as possible to share the information and get feedback.

To find out more, have your say and help spread the word, take a look at these five simple actions:

  1. Find out more about the Clean Air Plan and sign up to the newsletter to stay informed;
  2. Send your thoughts to the Council on how these plans will affect you by email or via the feedback form;
  3. Check out the calendar of events to see what’s coming up;
  4. Look out for consultation surveys on the website or the Council’s Consultation Hub;
  5. Share this information with people you know – your employees, clients, customers, partner organisations and community.

Clean air is a vital part of the Partnership’s vision of a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all. Although the Clean Air Plan won’t fully address the problem, it is an important step on the way. The Partnership will continue to follow this issue and will be considering next steps – if you want to stay up-to-date with all our events and activities, the best way is to sign up as a member.

Keep up to date with this specific campaign by following Clean Air For Bristol on Twitter.

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