The Bristol Cable

The Bristol Cable is launching a campaign calling for drastic action on Bristol’s deadly air pollution. Here’s why.

Throughout January and February, Cable members voted in their hundreds on what issue they’d like to see the Bristol Cable devote coverage to in the coming months – and air pollution came out top.

The timing couldn’t be more critical. Toxic air is linked to 300 deaths in the city every year. Evidence is piling up on the health dangers of air pollution beyond its effects on our lungs: it’s now being linked to ailments from dementia to diabetes, miscarriage to psychosis. Its becoming known as the number one public health emergency we face.

No wonder so many members wanted to see the Cable focus on this problem. Many relayed their own problems living in polluted parts of the city, or their worries for their families.

Sounds like urgent action is needed? The council doesn’t seem to think so. It announced in April that the much-delayed Clean Air Plan to tackle Bristol’s toxic air won’t be ready until the end of the year, and therefore won’t come into effect until 2020. This isn’t good enough when our children are growing up with stunted lungs.

Pushing for progress from the council, while reporting on its progress, is only the start. We’ll also be highlighting what’s possible by looking at solutions from other cities and from within Bristol, from better cycling infrastructure to greater awareness of the damage caused by wood burning stoves.

While the council is dragging its feet, local groups have sprung into action to make a change at school, at their workplaces, and in their neighbourhoods.

There are really easy ways for you to get involved, such as emailing your councillor to help build pressure on the Mayor to take meaningful action when the Clean Air Plan is eventually published. You can also be a part of our project to map air pollution levels across the city, by carrying round our air quality monitor, and tell us about expertise or experience you have on the topic.

We’ll also be working on events and more ways for Cable members to get involved in the project. Watch this space.

Sign up for our campaign-specific newsletter to get a blow-by-blow account from inside the campaign as I report on the issue.

Join a community of 2,600 Cable members

The Cable is not your average newspaper. We are 100% owned by thousands of local people. Join us, and help build a new model for the journalism Bristol needs – community owned, local, and in-depth – free for everyone, only with your support.

Join the Cable


    Report a comment
    Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy

  • Ann Hughes Devereaux says:

    Week last Sunday there was attempted cutting of trees on lower Ashley Road, it was stopped by the intervention of Hugh Holden. In and around that area of St Paul’s there’s been a lot of felling of mature trees which we all know has a detrimental affect on the quality of air which we need!! Also on the emotional and well being of people. The amount of traffic in and going through this area is phenomenal, children who have to walk to school etc are having to find other ways to walk.
    Marvin mayor says he is unable to sort this problem out, the planning department appears to not take into the areas position geographically as it’s in a dip and the amount of flats (students?) etc will make it impossible to be able to breathe… no one will take responsibility, they just say we need more housing which is true but to what price are we going to pay? The owner of the land on lower Ashley Road lives in a house surrounded by beautiful trees, yet he is a willing to destroy mature trees for his personal and financial benefit. Local people have created a FB group ( save the m32 maple trees)
    Thx Ann

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Greens and Labour are close in Windmill Hill, where climate, air pollution and housing are key concerns for locals

It’s likely to be a tight fight in Windmill Hill again, after Labour beat the Greens by just a few hundred votes last election.

Will Bristol’s new clean air zone influence city centre voters at the polls?

Central ward was a close race between Labour and the Greens in 2016, with a low turnout and just seven votes in it.

‘If everything worked you could get rid of cars’: Travel is the election issue in Bishopston and Ashley Down

Bishopston and Ashley Down is currently split between the Green Party and Labour. The Greens want a Residents’ Parking Zone, while Labour are pushing for low-traffic neighbourhoods. These stances on cars, pollution and transport may swing the vote.

In Southville, a U-turn on parking problems is shaking up the local election race

Residents in streets not covered by a residents’ parking zone have been campaigning without success to get it extended. Days before the election, Labour candidates are promising action from the council.

'The new Bristol and WECA mayors will need to move fast to clean up Bristol's air'

The need for steps to be taken on our dangerously polluted air is clear, but change is slow to come, writes clean air campaigner Katrina Billings.

The campaigners creating an environmental movement with social justice at its core

Air pollution disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and deprived communities, yet environmental movements tend to be predominantly white and middle class. We sit down with Olivia Sweeney, Black and Green ambassador, to ask what is being done about this in the city, and what are her hopes f...

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday