The Mayor of Bristol has made a series of environmental commitments on Clean Air Day to protect the most vulnerable from harmful pollution and ensure the city is playing its part in tackling global climate challenge.

Marvin Rees announced plans to take a fresh look at the possibility of a workplace parking levy to raise revenue for a mass transit system, alongside proposals to close roads to cars outside schools during drop off and pick up, everywhere it’s possible.

Extra emphasis will be placed on raising awareness and enforcing the existing Smoke Control Legislation in licensed premises. This is to reduce illegal burning of wood and solid fuels. The legislation also covers wood burners and bonfire nuisance.

Mayor Rees said:

“Bristol City Council last year declared a climate emergency. While the problem is global, there is a lot cities can do to reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for our citizens.

“For the past year we have worked tirelessly to plan how we can make the air in Bristol less harmful and protect our children from toxic fumes, without disadvantaging people who are already struggling to get by.

“We cannot do this alone and individuals cannot be expected to do this on alone either. The environmental movement needs to draw people together to tackle the environmental, social and economic challenges we are faced with. It must be a movement that listens and respects the diversity of experiences.

“We have an opportunity to roll back the climate catastrophe many people in the poorest countries already face. If we get it right, we can be a source of hope for our planet and Bristol must play its part.”

Other announcements included:

  • Improving monitoring of nitrogen dioxide pollution levels throughout the city and continuing to openly publish all that data
  • A review of forthcoming new government powers to reduce emissions from construction industry machinery (non-road mobile machinery, for example cement mixers and cranes) to help improve standards in Bristol
  • Active travel will be at the centre of our work with city partners on the city centre revitalisation group and our preparation for the Western Harbour
  • Focusing on re-designing Nelson Street, this will include re-modelling the old city and removing traffic from parts of it
  • Introduce green walls and roofs to Bristol, in addition to structurally reviewing car parks, large buildings and walls and where possible, bring them alive.
  • Campaign to get government to devolve the powers and money needed to move at pace to tackle these challenges.

The Mayor also called on the government to:

  • Introduce legislation and funding for all new houses and supporting infrastructure to be carbon neutral
  • Ban diesel generators for domestic energy supply to give the council powers to say no to plans like the recent one in St Phillips, especially in heavily populated areas
  • Grant increased powers to ban particulates, particularly in industrial and domestic use, including the power to ban private wood burners
  • Install a national scrappage or vehicle replacement scheme, giving everyone who needs it, financial support to update their vehicle to a cleaner one.

To read the Mayor’s speech in full, go to:

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