Radical action is needed to tackle Bristol’s deadly pollution. Let’s make it happen.
Photo: Colin Moody
We believe journalism has power. As a member of the Cable you can use that power to push for positive change in Bristol.
Over the past months, members have helped to shape options for our next campaign. Now we’ve narrowed it down to two key issues facing our city, and it’s time for you to add your voice.
Not yet a member? Join here and then cast your vote
Your street might be killing you. Your cycle commute to work might be killing you. The pizza restaurant next door might be killing you. 300 deaths per year in Bristol are attributable to air pollution, according to a 2017 report commissioned by the council.
Young children growing up in Bristol are, like everyone else, breathing the equivalent of 1-2 cigarettes worth of pollutants everyday. It’s also a matter of equality – more deprived areas are often the hardest hit.
The blame for slow action on our air pollution crisis is thrown around like a hot potato. The UK government has been lambasted by the EU for breaking laws on legal levels. The government in turn just this month slammed Bristol council for not making sufficient improvement plans.
In a letter delivered to Mayor Marvin Rees this month, Therese Coffey MP wrote she was “absolutely astonished at your delay in improving air quality for the people of Bristol as quickly as possible”. The council has been ordered to follow a strict timetable for producing its air quality strategy including putting their plans up for public consultation by the end of March.
It’s also a time of great change for many parts of the city which are undergoing significant transformations. Large scale developments, infrastructure and transport are all being considered by the authority as it works on its new big picture ‘local plan’ – a blueprint for the future of the city. How will air quality be addressed in tandem with other needs and concerns?
From industry to transport, energy generation to fuel use, the sources of Bristol’s dirty air are varied. Our reporting will demystify where the problems originate. And even though the issue of air pollution can feel intangible or hard to relate to, there are things we can do. Change is possible. Let’s find out what those changes are, and put them into practice.
2019 is shaping up to be a year of action. In Bristol, grassroots initiatives are pushing for change and suggesting solutions. From preventing the use of woodburners, to minimising exposure for children on the school run. The innovation and ideas are there.
These Bristolians are part of a network of communities around the country (and indeed the world) creating the changes they want to see.
We’ll identify where the pollution we breathe each day comes from, what can be done and who can do it. We’ll work with allies and community groups, and push for action, whether it be from companies, authorities, our neighbours or ourselves.
Why members are voting for this campaign
drug using in terms of the reach and severity of the outcomes.