Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomed the announcement of the new London Mayor Sadiq Khan that he intends to double the size of the city’s low emission zone The environmental group highlighted the huge impact of air pollution on public health and called for the Scottish Government to do more including implementing similar zons.

Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna commented,

“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.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

Mayor of London announces bold plans to clean up London’s toxic air (12/5/16)
https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/bold-plans-to-clean-up-…

King's College Report: 9,500 Londoners die prematurely each year because of polluted air. (15/7/15) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/15/nearly-9500-people-di…

Glasgow was named as breaching World Health Organisation air pollution guidelines (12/5/16) http://www.heraldscotland.com/NEWS/14487900.Glasgow_named_as_one_of_UK_s…

New Research means 2500 Deaths a Year in Scotland are from Air Pollution (23/2/16) http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/RCP-Report

SNP manifesto pledged to put a low emission zone put in place by the end of 2018. http://www.snp.org/manifesto

Free to use photos of air pollution protestors in gas masks in Edinburgh are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHskiVKDf1

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.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk