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Listen: Why are people so attached to their cars? Bristol prepares for its first ‘liveable neighbourhood’

The council will soon launch a formal consultation on the controversial East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood, before the trial traffic-restriction scheme comes in early next year.


The Cable has been speaking to residents of east Bristol on the eve of the city’s first so-called ‘liveable neighbourhood’ coming into effect. The trial scheme will stop cars driving through the area along certain roads in an attempt to reduce air pollution, and make the area of narrow residential streets safer for walking and cycling. 

Similar schemes have been brought in up and down the country, but they have also sparked a backlash as part of a so-called ‘war on motorists’, a narrative now being stoked by the Tory government. 

But back on the streets of Bristol, residents are divided. While some people are strongly in favour of making the area less dominated by cars, others are worried about the impact on their daily lives, especially those who have no choice but to drive. After months of consultation and criticism, tweaks have been made and the year-long trial of the liveable neighbourhood scheme is set to come into force early next year. 

We’ve been reporting on the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood for many months. The plan may be just about restricting traffic in one area of Bristol. But it also throws up important questions about how a city can get its residents to drive less, when public transport options are patchy at best.

Why are people so emotionally attached to their cars? And how can we make changes that benefit the climate in as fair a way as possible, when people are already struggling? 

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  • Because who the fuck are you to tell me what I can and can’t do because of how you feel? There is 100% a war on cars and I promise you, be will win the push back


  • Why didn’t you talk to people from Keep Bristol Moving, the campaign group opposing the scheme?


  • But there’s not going to be another consultation in December Matty. This will be the Traffic Regulation Order application process. It will last for three weeks and will be specific to individual road closures, not the scheme itself. Having the option to object to individual road closures is NOT a full consultation.


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