Investing in cleaner air and doing even more to tackle air pollution are priorities for the UK government. They have published a National Air Quality Plan to help reduce levels of pollution by 2021. Within this Plan 28 Local Authorities have been identified as requiring help to tackle pollution hotspots by 2021. Bristol City Council is one of them. This means we now have access to Government funds to further investigate and implement measures that reduce air pollution below EU and UK limits in the shortest time possible.
Recently a further 33 local authorities were required to submit studies and plans to improve air quality in their areas.
We are focusing our efforts around a new Clean Air Plan in Bristol to help meet new Government guidance, which directs local authorities, including Bristol, to:
- By 31 March 2018, undertake a feasibility study and identify options which will deliver compliance with legal limits for nitrogen dioxide in the shortest possible time
- By 31 December 2018, identify a preferred option, including value for money considerations and implementation arrangements.
The Mayor has established a Mayoral Working Group on air pollution, which will work closely with the Congestion Task Group to develop a Clean Air Plan to meet this new duty.
That plan will include the following topics:
- strengthening land use planning policies;
- reducing the impacts of freight;
- improving the bus and taxi fleets working with the operators;
- encouraging the adoption of cleaner vehicles, including electric;
- working with Government to secure the investment the city needs; and
- considering the contribution to air pollution from non-transport sources.