Councillors admit that they did not investigate the health implications of the car tax delay in any depth.
COUNCILLORS have admitted that they did not consider the health implications of deferring new car tax adjustments until 2022.
Bristol City Council revealed earlier this month that their new Clean Air Zone would be delayed by nine months, to the summer of 2022. It was originally scheduled to launch in October 2021, but was postponed due to a series of setbacks.
However, in a major admission, authorities in charge of the initiative stated they did not consider the health of people while amending the plans.
Carla Denyer, Chair of the Oversight and Scrutiny Management Board and a Green Party councillor, wondered if the delay will effect people.
She inquired whether a “evaluation” of any potential health hazards had been made during a scrutiny meeting to review the new Clean Air Zone.
“I understand that the compliance date will not be affected,” she added, “but one would presume, I believe, that even if the start date is later, there would still be people who are impacted by the nine months fewer of having a Clean Air Zone in place.”
“I was wondering if the council had given it any thought.”
“No, we haven’t studied that in any detail,” said Adam Crowther, the council’s strategic city transport service manager.
Mr Crowther, on the other hand, confirmed that there would be “a little pollution…that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.”
He went on to say that pollution levels have already dropped “significantly” across the city.
This was due to the addition of more pedestrian zones across the city as well as the introduction of new bike lanes.
He added that the closure of Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street has reduced pollution levels.
These ideas, he claimed, were not included in the council’s initial Clean Air Zone plans.
In light of this, Mr Crowther stated that additional precautions had been taken to “minimize any future delays.”
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The remarks came little over a week after Bristol mayor Marvin Rees stated that the delay would have no impact on the city’s clean air goals.
He said that despite the delay, the city would still meet its clean air standards by 2023.
“If you keep using the phrase ‘delay,’ people will assume the date of.”Brinkwire Summary News,” he remarked.