All roads in Bristol set to become 20mph zones 'where possible' under new council

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The Green Party have proposed a blanket 20mph speed limit across the city

The Greens are set to run Bristol City Council – so what can we expect that to mean and what policies are likely to be introduced?

Cllr Tony Dyer, the man almost certain to be the new leader, has insisted that while the party is open to ideas from the other political groups, the Greens were triumphant thanks to their manifesto, so fulfilling its promises must be their priority.

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The document is only 14 pages long. Two of these, at the start and end, are photos of their candidates.

Another is a contents page, followed by a brief foreword from group leader Cllr Emma Edwards, a role she will retain even if Cllr Dyer is council leader, and there is also a page outlining what Katy Grant, who finished third in the Avon & Somerset police and crime commissioner election, would have done in the role.

That leaves nine pages of actual policies and pledges, although one big complication is the fact that the party is two seats short of an overall majority so will have to rely on support from at least one other group to get anything approved.

The proposals include a blanket 20mph speed limit, half-price bus travel for young adults, more residents’ parking zones, which would reverse Labour’s policy over the last eight years in power, protections for libraries and council tax benefits, fewer tower blocks, more affordable homes, decarbonisation schemes, active travel, a workplace parking levy and the possibility of a tourist levy, drug consumption rooms and tidal power from the Severn Estuary.

Here is what the Greens hope to achieve:

“Getting the basics right”

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The Greens promise to listen to residents, spend money carefully and protect the most vulnerable from “cruel government cuts”.

This includes “more genuine engagement”, citizens’ assemblies, protecting the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, more transparent decisions about community facilities and community asset transfers and campaigning for government money to support childcare and adult social care.

Policies include:


All roads in Bristol to become 20mph zones “where possible”, apart from dual carriageways and motorways.

A new workplace parking levy, where employers are charged to let staff leave their cars at work, which would pay for more buses.

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Extra money for walking and cycling routes as well as bringing in additional low traffic neighbourhoods after completing the schemes in East and South Bristol.

A rollout of more Residents’ Parking Schemes, which are set to be back in favour for the first time since 2016, where there is “greatest demand”.

Investment in road repairs, while parking could be removed from bus lanes on main routes to speed up bus journeys as part of a wider review of all travel corridors and potential funding.

Pressure the West of England Combined Authority (Weca), which oversees the region’s transport, to deliver bus franchising or potentially full public control of buses if the Government allows that.

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Half-price bus tickets for 16 to 21-year-olds, along with more School Streets.

Homes and planning

Increase affordable homes target from 600 to 1,000 a year.

Campaign for the power to introduce rent controls where the housing market is “overheated”.

Continue Labour’s policy of setting up another arms-length company, this one to own and rent out council-owned housing.

Prevent development on Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) that are controlled by the council.

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Progress work on a proposed city-wide landlord licensing to raise rental property standards.

Make public all contacts between planning committee members and developers and pressure groups.

Rein in ex-mayor Marvin Rees’s policy of building tower blocks to tackle the housing crisis and instead aim for a balance of high-rises and car-centric suburban houses, prioritising “gentle density” developments.

Raise energy efficiency standards for new homes.

Give the planning department, which is currently in special measures, the funding and staff to properly review applications on time.

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Bring empty buildings back into use as homes and ensure 14,000 unbuilt homes that already have planning permission are built.

Children and young people

Prioritise sufficient school places along with specialist provision to keep youngsters close to families and reduce home-to-school transport costs.

More foster families, and dedicated support for children leaving care.

Celebrate “organisations, social movements and individuals who have made a difference to Bristolians” in the school curriculum.

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Improve monitoring and measures to reduce school absenteeism.

Aim to increase youth services and work to ensure young people can “lead lives free from the devastation and fear of knife crime”.


Recruit “great social workers and occupational therapists” in a work environment that values them.

Work with Bristol Disability Commission to manage the adult social care budget so disabled people’s rights and dignity are respected.

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Support carers so they do not reach “crisis point and feel they must hand over all responsibility to the council”.

Investigate a council-funded grants or loans scheme for care homes to be more efficient.


More trees across the city.

Aim to maintain spending on parks and charge users running commercial activities.

Explore safe consumption rooms for drug users.

Ensure everyone has access to healthy and affordable food and can reduce waste, as well as supporting local growers.

Green city

Expand accessible green space.

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Adapt Bristol for hotter weather and increase tree cover and shade, focusing on deprived areas and flood zones.

Increase recycling and reuse rates through better separation of waste materials and reuse shops and “repair cafes”.

Help businesses go green.


Lead a Bristol regional bid to become the UK’s city of culture. 

Aim to maintain library services as “essential community hubs that can be combined with community facilities and partner organisations”.

Keep more money local when procuring goods and services.

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Continue Marvin Rees’s One City approach, working with healthcare and community organisations, universities, businesses and residents while increasing accountability and citizen voices.

Look at introducing a tourist levy.

Net zero

Continue to decarbonise the council and public housing and work with City Leap, residents, landlords and community groups on initiatives for private sector homes.

Review tidal power options and develop more renewable energy.

Improve energy efficiency standards for new homes and insulate council houses and flats, “getting back on track after eight years of little progress”.

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Measure any major council decision against the city’s carbon reduction target and proceed if it reduces emissions or the carbon cost can be clearly justified.

Cllr Edwards said in the manifesto: “Bristol is a dynamic and vibrant city. But we are facing many challenges after years of austerity – high energy bills, unaffordable rent, a poor public transport system and ill-health, especially in worse-off areas.

“Social care is cash-strapped and under huge pressures, action on climate change is too little and too slow.

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