Thank you to the group Our Air, Our City (AOAC) and the XR Bristol arts group for our beautiful new mural! It’s pretty dissapointing though that we still need to push our council to sort this out, and it’s not like people haven’t been trying to make them tackle this problem for years.
Back in 2017 DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) ordered Bristol City Council to clean up the city centre air quality, and in 2018 we worked with Friends of the Earth Bristol on a campaign trying to highlight exactly these same problems.
The OAOC campaign has an overview of the history, but in the 4 years since the council was ordered to clean up our air quality approximately 1200 people have died prematurely in Bristol because of the illegal levels of air pollution we are forced to breathe every day. It wasn’t as if they suddenly realised in 2017 either- it has been known for much longer that our air was in breach of EU regulations for air quality.
The fact that the council moved to destroy the Bearpit Cube (with none of the due process for their claim of planning permission breaches) has never felt like a coincidence to us. It’s a button we need to keep pushing, as their current plan doesn’t expect to get pollution levels under the maximum legal limits until 2028 (!!!) according to Our Air, Our City. They also cite research that claims the current plans will only save 20 of the 300 lives cut short.