The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said that he plans to double the size of the capital’s low emission zone. Following the announcement, Friends of the Earth Scotland have called on the Scottish Government to do more to tackle their air pollution problem, highlighting the deadly impacts toxic air has on public health.
Emilia Hanna, Air Pollution Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The extension of the zone is really welcome news for the people of London who have had to endure deadly air pollution for far too long. It is great to see London’s new Mayor get straight down to the important work of tackling the scourge of dirty air that claims nearly 9,500 lives in the capital each year.
“Scotland’s air pollution has a huge impact on our national health and urgent action is needed to roll out Low Emission Zones in our cities as soon as possible. The SNP has promised in their manifesto to deliver at least one Low Emission Zone by 2018, but we need to see plans about this fleshed out, and fast, if it is to deliver this Zone on time.
“A Low Emission Zone means that the most polluting vehicles are restricted from certain areas and such zones have proven to successfully cut pollution levels in several European cities.
“Low Emission Zones are one of several measures that are urgently needed to tackle Scotland’s toxic air. The Government must also shift its transport spending priorities and invest 10% of its transport budget in walking and cycling projects. They should explore ways to cut congestion such as implementing congestion charging and parking levies in urban centres. These will speed up the much-needed transition away from our over-reliance on the car towards more sustainable modes of travel.”
“As well as tackling air pollution transforming our transport system will help significantly in our efforts to cut climate emissions.”