Coffey ‘astonished’ at Bristol air pollution delay

24/01/2019
Chris Ames

Environment minister Therese Coffey has threatened Bristol mayor Marvin Rees with legal action if he does not meet new deadlines for a plan to tackle air pollution in the city.

In a letter published online, Dr Coffey said she was alarmed to hear that Bristol City Council had stated that it would not provide its outline business case until summer 2019, given that it was obliged under a ministerial direction to do so by the end of last year.

”Local
Traffic in Bristol

She wrote: ‘This means you have unlawfully failed to comply with the Direction, and I am absolutely astonished at your delay in improving air quality for the people of Bristol as quickly as possible.’

Dr Coffey told Mr Rees that she now requires by 21 February an outline business case ‘that justifies the proposed preferred scheme to deliver compliance based on full and complete analyses including air quality, transport, and economic modelling as well as setting out the procurement, implementation route and affordability of the scheme’.

She also specified that all necessary public consultation on the preferred scheme should commence by 29 March, with a full business case by 27 September.

Dr Coffey added: ‘I should like to make clear that any delay or non-compliance with these deadlines will result in my being forced to consider legal action against Bristol City Council which may include issuing proceedings without further notice.’

However, as Transport Network has reported, two other cities have recently escaped sanction after they repeatedly missed deadlines to draw up air quality plans, despite threats of ‘serious consequences’ from Dr Coffey.

A spokesperson for Bristol said it was ‘fully committed to tackling air quality’ and was carrying out technical modelling work to explore fully all possible options.

The spokesperson said: ‘We’ve been clear with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit that we will take the proposals forward and we are working to ensure that the potential solutions have the highest possible chance of success. We are therefore looking at the bigger picture including measures to cut congestion and improve public transport, infrastructure and traffic management.

‘Bristol is an inclusive city and we are determined that any proposed solutions do not have a negative impact on people on low incomes.’

Separately, ministers have approved Leeds City Council’s plan to implement a charging Clean Air Zone and provided £29m in funding.

The council had asked for £13m to cover infrastructure and operation costs and £27m to help businesses upgrade or retrofit affected vehicles. The council said that £23m of the £29m provided was to support businesses.

Cllr James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment, said: ‘We have not received the full amount of funding that we asked the Government for; however, we are pleased to confirm today that a number of significant financial support packages will be available to assist owners of affected vehicles. We will be working hard to make sure this money is available swiftly.'

 

 

Also see

 

Highways jobs

Senior Programme Officer (Transport)

£32,910 - £36,922
As a Senior Programme Officer for strategic transport, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of transport policy for... Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Construction Team Leader.1347

£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
You will act as first line manager for the operational construction, depot & highways teams to ensure the best use of available resources to... Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Transport Planner

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Sustainable Transport Lead

£39,000- £45,000 per annum
Do you have experience in climate action and community led projects? Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Publica

Highway Development Control Manager (Highways and Engineering)

£35,662 - £41-811 per annum
We are looking for an exceptional candidate who can work with internal and external clients to assess the transport and highways elements of... Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Conservation Officer

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Do you have passion and enthusiasm for the historic built environment?  London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Project Manager - Waste Management

Up to £47389 per annum
Project Manager - Waste ManagementFixed Term, 24 monthsFull Time, 37 hours per weekUp to £47,389 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Programme Manager - Waste Management

£51510 - £62842 per annum
Programme Manager - Waste ManagementPermanent, Full TimeUp to £62,842 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Planner (Policy)

£33,543 - £46,962
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Deputy Director - Neighbourhoods

c. £100k
This role will take the lead on a wide range of our public facing services... Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Bexley

Director, Environment and Waste

Attractive Remuneration Package      
As the biggest County Council in the country, there is a fantastic opportunity to make a big difference. Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Corporate Director, Growth, Environment and Transport

Attractive Remuneration Package      
This is a great time to join Kent County Council.  Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

CPP Engineer x2

£19,698- £35,745
Wirral is home to vibrant, energetic and engaged communities, people who take real ownership of their local area and are passionate about... Wirral, Merseyside
Recruiter: Wirral Borough Council

Asset Manager

£38,705 (pro rata for part time)
We have a new role waiting for you to join us as an Asset Manager (Carriageways, Footways and Street Furniture). Suffolk
Recruiter: Suffolk County Council

Greenspaces & Leisure Project Officer (2 Year Fixed Term Contract)

£34,884 - £38,883 Per Annum
The Greenspaces & Leisure service manages and improves... Colindale, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Rights of Way Officer

£32,234 - £34,728 per annum
You will be responsible for the day to day management of the Public Rights of Way network which includes the manual routine inspection of... Darlington, Durham
Recruiter: Darlington Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer - Covid-19 Response

£27,741 to £33,782
The role involves responding to and investigating complaints from a variety of sources,  carrying out... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Technical Officer (Environmental Health)

£20,092 to £24,491
These roles can be fixed term or casual based on the candidate, if you have any enquiries about this please see contact details below.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Technical Officer (Environmental Health)

£25,481 - £30,451
As a Senior Technical Officer you will help to deliver our Environmental Health Services to the residents and businesses of Kirklees. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Deputy Public Realm Manager

£24,012 to £25,481 per annum (SCP 16-19)
The role is an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of projects and provide excellent community services to Biggleswade. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
Recruiter: Biggleswade Town Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Highways Heroes Special

View the latest issue

Latest Video