Healthy Air For Bristol Right Now

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Dear Bristol City Council, The West of England Combined Authority, and all candidates for the mayoral elections,

We, the undersigned, demand that urgent action is taken to secure healthy air for Bristol.

We breathe toxic air every day. We breathe it on our commute. We breathe it at work. We breathe it at school. We breathe it in our homes. And we have been breathing it for over twenty years. Yet our politicians still only deliver delays, weak promises, and plans that are quickly shelved.

This is a health, social justice and environmental crisis. We ask you to start treating it as one. Air pollution in our city is causing 300 extra deaths a year and contributing to many health conditions, including heart disease, lung impairment, strokes and cancer. It is worsening the Covid crisis, with one study attributing 14% of Coronavirus deaths to air pollution. It is impacting the vulnerable and marginalised of the city disproportionately. And it is driving us deeper into the climate and ecological emergency. 

There is an alternative - the pandemic has shown us that we can act together to protect one another and the health of our city. Taking radical and just action on our toxic air will make our streets safer, and more enjoyable for playing, walking and cycling. It will make our communities happier, and our local businesses more prosperous. It will make our transport greener and more just. It will care for our wildlife and climate, protecting our wellbeing for decades to come. As we recover from Covid we must seize this moment to secure healthy air.

A better Bristol is possible. To bring it into being we demand that:

- You prioritise Bristol reaching WHO recommended outdoor air quality guidelines by May 2022 and that you take action to keep Bristol’s air quality under these guidelines in a post-Covid future.
- You put all possible means of achieving legal air on the table, including support for active travel, improvements to public transport and CAZ proposals, and that in considering them you take into account the differing needs of all communities in the city.
- You (and public Bristol institutions, including schools, media and medical bodies) educate the people of Bristol about the impact of air pollution on their health, communities and environment.
- You include the people of Bristol in creating and executing your plans for achieving the above demands.

This is our air and our city. We demand clean air right now.