To protect people’s health the European Union and the UK Government has set legal standards for a range of air pollutants. Bristol is in breach of these standards for nitrogen dioxide and the UK has been sued because of failure to meet the European Limit Values for NO2.
Bristol City Council declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2001 for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulates (PM10). The boundary has been amended slightly but still covers the central area of the city and arterial routes. Approximately 100,000 people live in this area and there are 35 schools.
In July 2017, Government formally directed Bristol City Council 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; and
- By 31 December 2018 to identify a preferred option, including value for money considerations and implementation arrangements.
The proposed approach takes into account this Direction and the detailed Government guidance issued subsequently. A key aspect of this is the need to identify the option (s) which would deliver compliance with legal limits for nitrogen dioxide in the area for which the Council is responsible, in the shortest possible time.