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

Technical Administrator Policy and Regulation

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
Seeking an individual with a good standard of education, excellent organisational skills, and experience of using computerised systems... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Highways Infrastructure

Leeds City Council
£72,397 - £79,637
Seeking an exceptional candidate for the position of Head of Highways Infrastructure to lead on the authority’s duty to... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Local Land Charges Information Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£37,717 - £44,373
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Planning and Transport Strategy service for a forward thinking and innovative... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Planning Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£29,241 – £38,799 p.a. inc
Do you have a degree or recognised post graduate qualification in planning or a science/environmental subject? Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Water Services Contract Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 - £46,431
Seeking a contract manager to ensure the water services day-to-day repairs and works are identified and remedied. London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer WCC10676

Westminster City Council
£33,759 - £47,274 per annum
As an Environmental Health Officer in Food Safety or Health and Safety, you will be responsible for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Latest Issue

The ALARM survey 2019

Game over for flyovers?

Traffex, Parkex and Cold Comfort Scotland previews

View the latest issue

Latest Video