Suggested responses to Bristol’s Traffic Clean Air Zone consultation

It has been estimated that about 300 people per year in Bristol die prematurely because of Bristol’s poor air quality. Many more suffer poor health. If you are concerned about poor air quality in Bristol, it’s important to respond to the official Traffic Clean Air Zone consultation by Monday 12 August.

Background to the consultation
Bristol City Council has been required by the UK Government to produce a plan to show how it will meet legal limits of air pollution in the shortest time possible and is currently consulting on draft proposals. Unfortunately, the Council’s draft proposals do not go far enough and may not meet legal limits of air pollution until at least 2028 – 18 years after their original deadline.

The original work undertaken by officers at Bristol City Council has been watered down because the Mayor thinks a more ambitious clean air policy would have a disproportionate impact on people on low incomes. However, it is not clear what evidence he has to support that assertion. Data from the Census 2011 indicates that 43% of people in the 10% most deprived areas in Bristol live in households without a car and research has shown that people on lower incomes are more likely to be affected by poor air quality.

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The Clean Air Parents Network has provided suggested responses to five of the questions (Questions 4, 5, 6, 7 & 10) in Bristol City Council’s Traffic Clean Air Zone consultation. You are welcome to use or adapt them to reflect your own views. They have also provided advice for answering Question 8.

Question 4
Select ‘Neither agree nor disagree’ for the following if you are not opposed to the concepts of Clean Air Zones or vehicle bans but would like to see the actual proposals put forward by the Council improved:
○ Question 4, Option 1: Clean Air Zone (private cars not charged) is a good way to
improve air quality in Bristol
○ Question 4, Option 2: Diesel car ban is a good way to improve air quality in Bristol

Question 5
Use or adapt the following suggested text into the text boxes for Option 1 & Option 2:
I do not think that the Council has provided sufficient information for me to give a fully informed opinion on any of the proposals brought forward. I do not want to have to wait another ten years for the city to be rid of illegal levels of pollution. I want the Council to instead properly assess all technologically feasible measures and develop proposals that have the highest likelihood of meeting legal limits of air pollution in the shortest time possible, as well as reducing people’s exposure as quickly as possible. These proposals should urgently address all sources of pollution, including private cars, and could include a bigger and stronger Clean Air Zone as part of a package of measures. They should also include help and support for people on low incomes and small businesses to move on to cleaner forms of transport.

Question 6
Use or adapt the following suggested text into the text boxes for Locations 1, 2 & 3:
The Council should be putting forward proposals that are already designed to ensure that legal limits are met in the shortest time possible at all locations across Bristol. This should mean that proposed boundaries surround the right area, being big enough to tackle all locations suffering from illegal pollution levels and avoid the risk of problems being caused in other areas by the displacement of polluting vehicles.

Question 7
Use or adapt the following suggested text into the text boxes for Locations 1, 2 & 3:
The Council should be putting forward proposals that are already designed to ensure that legal limits are met in the shortest time possible at all locations across Bristol. This should mean that proposed boundaries surround the right area, being big enough to tackle all locations suffering from illegal pollution levels and avoid the risk of problems being caused in other areas by the displacement of polluting vehicles.

Question 8
Respond to this question in the way that best reflects your own views. The Clean Air Parents Network’s position is that exemptions should be kept to a minimum, if needed at all, and the focus should instead be on providing help and support for those who most need it, such as people on low incomes and small businesses, to move on to cleaner forms of transport.

Question 10
Use or adapt the following suggested text into the text box:
I am disappointed by the Council’s proposals and by the lack of information provided in support of these. I do not believe that they will be enough to meet legal limits of air pollution in the shortest time possible and are therefore not prioritising people’s health. I disagree that it is a choice between taking action on toxic air and protecting those on low incomes, especially as studies have shown that they, alongside people from minority ethnic groups, are disproportionately affected by higher levels of air pollution while at the same time contributing the least to the problem. I would like to see the Council developing more ambitious proposals that address all the key sources of pollution, including private cars. This could also include a bigger and better Clean Air Zone alongside a package of measures so that we can have fewer and cleaner vehicles on our roads. I would also like to see the Council working with the UK Government to ensure there is help and support for people on low incomes and small businesses move on to cleaner forms of transport.

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Finally, do encourage your family, friends and colleagues to respond to the consultation by sharing this guide with them. The deadline to respond to the official Traffic Clean Air Zone consultation is Monday 12 August.

The Clean Air Parents’ Network is supported by the British Lung Foundation and ClientEarth. They are calling on all levels of government to take action to tackle illegal and harmful levels of air pollution to protect the health of people across the UK www.cleanairparents.org.uk