Edinburgh City Councillors will today (Thursday 09/08/2018) discuss proposals which could see the city centre become largely traffic-free, and which could see a bold low emission zone rolled out across the city to tackle the city’s illegal and dangerous air pollution levels.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Air Pollution Campaigner Emilia Hanna said:

“These proposals could put Edinburgh amongst the greatest cities in Europe. European cities like Copenhagen, Oslo and Seville are living proof that giving greater priority to pedestrians is good for local businesses, good for air quality, and good for people, and it’s great to see that Edinburgh could be going in the same direction.

“Well done to Edinburgh Council for putting bold plans on the table which could propel Edinburgh to become a modern, healthy city with cleaner air, low climate emissions and more accessible and enjoyable public spaces for everyone. We urge all Committee members to get behind the most transformative options under consideration.

“Traffic-related air pollution causes over 200 premature deaths in Edinburgh every year, and has been linked with heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and stunted development in children and unborn babies. These plans could make it possible for more of us to walk, and cycle, and will certainly lead to a significant improvement in air quality.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Transport & Environment Committee meets at 10am on Thursday 9th August. The papers for the meeting can be found at https://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c68bf7d8d&id=bce20fe709&e=3fb671ef76

2. For health links between air pollution and heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and stunted development in children and unborn babies: see Royal College of Physicians, “Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution” (2016), https://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c68bf7d8d&id=0cb819a2a3&e=3fb671ef76

3. 200 premature deaths from fine particle (PM2.5) air pollution in Edinburgh: see Public Health England, “Estimating local mortality burdens associated with particulate air pollution” (2014), Table 3, page 20. https://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c68bf7d8d&id=3fac7dd1dd&e=3fb671ef76

4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.