We have held three events on this subject now and have learnt so much about what happens in the air around us in the city including:
- The legal limit of NO2 in the air is 40 μg/m3 as an annual mean (i.e. measured across a year).
- Currently, some sites in Bristol experience NO2 levels up to 90µg/m3.
- There are two sites with very high levels in Bristol – on St Augustines parade in the cetnre and Parson Street in BS3.
- More than 5 deaths a week in Bristol linked to air pollution
- Diesel vehicles are responsible for 96% of NO2 emissions in Bristol
- Air pollution costs the UK £54 billion a year in illness and deaths.
Here is Dr Corra Boushel’s presentation in case you missed it, which has more details about air pollution in Bristol.
The Council are developing a Clean Air Plan which aims to bring the city’s pollution down to legal limits by 2021 (the target set by National government following the Client Earth action). Part of that plan involves the introduction of a Clean Air Zone, which may or may not include our neighbourhood. You can see the danger spots on the Clair city website and the options for making reductions (mainly relating to the Clean Air Zone) in the FAQ section of the Councils Clean Air website here.
There is more information out there, and other groups who are looking at this too, such as the Bristol Clean Air Alliance, Bristol Breathing Better and St George Breathing Better. There are other maps, like the one here showing the air pollution around GP surgeries and hospitals. Client Earth have created a Parents network and Bristol university is a partner in an interesting project called Life of Breath. More info on their website.
We are keen to raise awareness of this topic even more, and to look at practical solutions in our area. This could mean working with the Council, the Bedminster Business Improvement District, Parks groups and other local organisations. It would be brilliant to talk to schools, GP surgeries, groups like Brownies and more. We are hoping to focus on this in the Spring but can’t do it on our own – ideally we’d like to create a group to take it forward. If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.