Local environmental campaigners are criticising Swindon Brough Council for not taking enough "radical" action to combat the rising levels of air pollution on Kingshill.
In response to the council's inaction, and to draw attention to the "illegal levels" of air pollution in the Kingshill area, Extinction Rebellion will be taking non-violent direct action on Kingshill tomorrow morning from 10am.
The campaigners say that residents have raised concerns over damage to their health to Swindon Borough Council, but not enough radical action has been taken to combat air pollution in the area.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: "Swindon Borough Council has consistently failed to heed complaints from residents and meet their requests to improve air quality.
"Even as far back as 2010, there were an estimated 86* deaths in Swindon of people aged 25 and over from air pollution. Actions taken since then have still left dangerous levels of air quality.
"Swindon Borough Council is carrying out a consultation on their proposals to improve air quality. However, Extinction Rebellion Swindon says their proposals will not be sufficient to keep residents safe and are calling on them to respond on a more radical level for both public health and for the wider long-term sustainability."
Extinction Rebellion Swindon are making three demands:
- Introduce at least four buses an hour. There are only three buses per day down the Kingshill Road.
- The Kingshill road traffic must be limited to electric cars and cycles only (except residents, buses and taxis). Swindon has 3.2 times national average of diesel cars and vans per head of population.
- Set up a £68.3m Swindon Sustainable Investment Fund. Swindon Borough Council staff pensions have investments in Fossil Fuel related companies totalling £68.3m, administered through the Wiltshire Pension Fund. Extinction Rebellion Swindon is calling for immediate and complete divestment and the creation of a financial vehicle to invest in projects promoting a sustainable, clean, healthy future for Swindon.
Extinction Rebellion Swindon formed last year to answer the call for global action against climate change as part of the international group Extinction Rebellion. Many members within the organisation are urging local governments to make their towns and cities more carbon neutral by 2025 and declare a climate change emergency.
Extinction Rebellion Swindon will be assembling at Kingshill, Saturday 16 February, from 10am.