Green councillors in Bristol have called for urgent action to address dangerously high air pollution levels in the city, saying that Bristol needs clean air now. In a statement they wrote:
As Extinction Rebellion gears up for a week of action and protests around Bristol’s illegal air quality levels, Green Councillors say clean air is now more important than ever. With growing evidence that dirty air exacerbates the impact of coronavirus and growing calls for a nationwide review on the Government’s air quality strategy, Greens say the time for talking is over – immediate action is now needed to clean up Bristol’s dangerous air.
Extinction Rebellion is planning a week of socially distanced protests and events in Bristol at the City’s illegal levels of air pollution, which shortens five lives each week. The itinerary includes a protest at College Green on Tuesday to visually highlight the 296 early deaths every year from air pollution, as well as other events.
Green Councillors are supportive of Extinction Rebellion’s protests and said the coronavirus pandemic means clean air is more urgent than ever in Bristol.
Councillor Jerome Thomas said:
“During lockdown, many people in Bristol have enjoyed breathing cleaner air. However as lockdown restrictions are eased, and public transport use is much reduced, car traffic is steadily returning to the streets. The Mayor must act now to protect and improve our air quality.
“It is nearly four years since all councillors in Bristol unanimously supported a Green motion calling for a Clean Air Zone in the city. Since then, the Mayor has spent millions of pounds on consultants, but has failed to act to reduce the levels of air pollution responsible for hundreds of early deaths each year in our city. Communities across our city have a right to breathe clean, safe air. Recent plans to reduce car access in the city centre do not go anywhere near far enough and a proper clean air zone is long overdue.”