Ahead of a meeting of the City Council’s Transport and Environment Committee today at which Councillors will discuss options for the City’s Low Emission Zone, Friends of the Earth Scotland Air Pollution Campaigner Emilia Hanna said:

“It’s good news for the City and for people’s health that Councillors are progressing plans for a Low Emission Zone for the capital. Edinburgh has on-going illegal and unsafe levels of air pollution years after health deadlines, and Low Emission Zones have been identified as a key way to keep the most polluting vehicles out of the most polluted places. Many modern European cities now have Low Emission Zones, and it’s time Scotland’s capital caught up. With 200 early deaths every year from toxic air, and air pollution linked to heart attacks, cancer, and stunted development in children and babies, the Council is doing the right thing to tackle it via a Low Emission Zone.

“It is important that Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone is ambitious enough to make deep reductions in air pollution. We want to see an LEZ that restricts the most polluting buses, vans, and lorries from the outset, followed by cars shortly after, and covers a wide area of the City. The Zone must be coupled with continued improvements to our public transport, walking, and cycling networks, so that drivers are encouraged not to drive unless they really need to.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Committee will meet at 10am and the papers are available at: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4396/transport_and_environment_committee
  2. For more information on Low Emission Zones: https://foe.scot/campaign/air-pollution/what-is-a-lez/
  3. Levels of air pollution across several parts of Scotland continue to break European legal limits and Scottish standards years after a legal deadline: https://foe.scot/press-release/polluted-streets-list-2017/
  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.