In a bid to combat the excessive amount of air pollution on Bristol's roads, the Liberal Democrats have submitted a motion to the council for 'no vehicle idling zones' to be erected throughout the city.
The zones, which have been adopted by other local authorities including Bury and Southampton, aim to cut emissions from cars which remain on whilst idle in traffic.
Bristol's levels of air pollution currently exceed the safe limit set by both the European Union and the World Health Organization. Bristol's poor air quality is believed to be responsible for around 300 extra deaths every year. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) produced new guidance last year that recommended “no vehicle idling” areas in places where health-vulnerable people collect, such as outside schools, hospitals and care homes, and in areas where exposure to road-traffic-related air pollution is high.
The Bristol Liberal Democrats are keen to extend the use of these zones in Bristol, particularly to cover schools and children's play areas in order to reduce the risks to young people. The Lib Dems have also proposed working with NHS partners to extend the scheme to outside medical buildings and hospital pick-up points.
Mark Wright, Councillor for Hotwells & Harborside, said:
"Most people are well aware that air quality in Bristol is very poor, and that serious harm is done to health as a result.
"While we can all argue about how necessary certain journeys might be, I’m sure we can all agree that there is no justification for engines left running while stationary for long periods of time; or for most instances of diesel generators running outside, now that good battery-powered alternatives exist.
"Last year National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and Public Health England called on local councils to implement “no vehicle idling” areas in places where health-vulnerable people collect, such as outside schools, hospitals and care homes, and in parks.
"My motion to Council aims to put an end to totally unnecessary air pollution coming from idling engines and generators in our most vulnerable areas.
Full council will meet to potentially discuss this and other motions on September 11th