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Seeing through the fog: Air pollution facts

Campaign aim

Toxic air in Bristol is linked to 300 deaths a year. It’s bad for our health, bad for local ecosystems and it hits inner-city neighbourhoods hardest. The council are currently working on their much-delayed Clean Air Plan, due at the end of 2019.

This Bristol Cable campaign is pushing for significant action on air pollution from the council, and sharing the stories Bristolians need to hold the council to account. Tune in for the facts, latest developments, ideas for solutions and stories of the citizens already fighting for fair air.

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Get the latest updates and insights from Cable journalist Lorna Stephenson, who is leading the campaign.

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Our stories

Cutting Bristol’s air pollution could help citizens’ mental as well as physical health

Evidence increasingly suggests that traffic pollutants can adversely affect the brain, impact cognitive function, and increase the risk of mental health problems. Bristol’s Clean Air Zone cannot come too soon.

'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.

Air pollution close to pre-lockdown levels as battle for solutions hots up

The mayor and council have changed their mind, and want to reduce air pollution without charging drivers, but critics are calling time on yet more delays.

‘Bigger and bolder’ clean air plans could reduce Bristol pollution to legal levels by 2022

Mayor Marvin Rees says that the coronavirus pandemic has made alternative plans possible for Bristol.

Watch: Lessons from lockdown - how can Bristol battle air pollution?

As traffic on Bristol’s streets returns to normal following lockdown, air pollution levels have returned to illegal levels. What can we do about it?

Burning waste – green energy or just hot air?

A new waste incinerator is being built in Avonmouth, but critics say the industry is polluting and contradicts climate aims 

Bristol Council votes to ban diesel cars from city centre

All privately owned diesel vehicles will be banned from the city centre between 7am and 3pm from March 2021.

After delays, council releases plan to clean up toxic air

A thousand plus pages of documents have received mixed reactions and raised uncertainties as to whether it will be implementable

‘If the water was killing hundreds of people every year, there would be an outcry’

Air pollution scientist Dr Gary Fuller on congestion charging, changing the conversation, and how we can protect ourselves.

Government piles pressure on mayor over dirty air

A Clean Air Zone that includes charging private cars must be considered, said Therese Coffey MP.

Lawyers are threatening action over council’s “seriously flawed” clean air plans

Environmental lawyers say timescales to tackle illegal pollution are unacceptable

Farming's devastating impact on urban air pollution

Ammonia – one of the major sources of pollution is unregulated and unmonitored by the government.

Clean Air Plan: two options, no answers

Council finally outlines two clean air plan proposals, but fails to produce analysis to back up its chosen options.

Controversial gas power station refused at development committee

Conrad Energy may now appeal the decision for the hugely unpopular plans for St Philip’s Marsh gas power plant.

Planning officers recommend APPROVAL of St Philip’s Marsh gas plant

Local campaigners are dismayed that power generation could happen 80m from a nursery school.

Bristol doctors on air pollution: 'The council isn’t taking things seriously enough'

Medical professionals have a role to play as advocates for public health, but “system change” is necessary, says MedAct Bristol.

Opinion: People of colour need to be included in Bristol’s environmental movement

Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley argues that it’s not that Black people aren’t green – it’s that the green movement is too white.

Why Bristol needs to fight for fair air

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

Changing gear: what next for cycling in Bristol?

To get us out of cars and reduce air pollution, Bristol needs to radically overhaul its cycle network. Other cities are leading the way.

Seeing through the fog: Air pollution facts

Key facts and figures on what’s in our air, where it comes from, and why we should worry.

Opinion: Bristol’s leadership is failing to stop the city choking

Marvin Rees’ announcement this week that there is a ‘timeline’ for producing a Clean Air Plan is too little, too late.

Council admits Clean Air Plan won’t come into effect until 2020 earliest

As cities across the UK begin to tackle their toxic air, Bristol confirms extended delay to Clean Air Plan.

Air pollution action debated in Council’s budget-setting session

Delay in clean air action is defended by Labour despite criticisms, opposition parties put forward alternative proposals.

Clean air plan deadline set to be missed

After harsh criticism from government for dragging its feet, the council was ordered to provide its plan to tackle air pollution by 21 February.

Opinion: We need our stoves

For someone living in a boat or van during the winter, having a stove can be a matter of life and death, argues boater Mike Doherty.

Opinion: Wood burning stoves are deadly, not trendy

Stuart Phelps argues that “poverty is the only excuse for burning wood in the city".

How the air we breathe is a matter of equality

In Bristol’s inner city areas, residents produce less air pollution than wealthier suburbs - but suffer the worst effects.

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