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Friday, 17 May 2019

Clean Air still not a priority

For many years we have been campaigning for a plan of action to address the scandal of high levels of pollution poisoning residents of, visitors and workers in the city centre. 

We were pleased when central government funding became available to create a clean air zone and actively participated in the discussions with officers and their specialist advisors in designing the best way to implement it. During the consultation that followed, we actively campaigned that the officers’ carefully consider recommendations should be implemented. 

Unfortunately, the CAZ became a political football where the voting intentions of North East Somerset took precedence over swift and effective action to stop city centre residents’ health being damaged. It also meant that the decision date was pushed back so close to the elections as to jeopardise the implementation of even the suboptimal proposal.

We now face the prospect of further delays and uncertainty as the new council plan to "have the evidence re-examined". 

How many people will have their health permanently damaged while politicians debate whether or not to take decisive action and will the central government funding still be available when they finally decide? 

Charging people £9 to bring highly polluting vehicles into the city we know will make a difference faster than anything else yet proposed so let's get on and do it and start saving lives.