Environmental campaigners welcomed the news from City of Edinburgh Council that the City Centre Transformation Plan will improve walking, cycling, and public transport in the city. The plans have been revealed in papers published today ahead of a Council Committee meeting next week.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Air Pollution Campaigner, Gavin Thomson said:

“These plans from City of Edinburgh Council could be a great step forward for air quality in the city, and the case for these improvements is clear. Toxic and illegal levels of air pollution in Edinburgh cause 200 early deaths each year. Several sites across the city are breaking legal limits that should have been met years ago.

“By making it easier for more people to walk, cycle, or take public transport, we can transform the way we move around our city. These plans had overwhelming support from Edinburgh residents because people want to see that change. Greener, safer streets, with well-connected public transport, would make Edinburgh a better place to live and work.

“If these plans were implemented, it would improve the air we breathe and protect the health of residents. We’re still waiting to see details of the Low Emission Zone, which needs to cover the whole city and ensure the most polluting vehicles are restricted.

“These plans could cut congestion, improve journey times, and reduce climate pollution. Councillors should listen to the people of Edinburgh, who are demanding ambition, and help move the whole city forward.”


Notes to Editors

1. City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport & Environment Committee meets at 10am on Thursday 28th February. More information can be found at: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/meetings/committee/1005/transport_and_environment_committee

2.. 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://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimating-local-mortality-burdens-associated-with-particulate-air-pollution

3. Free to use photos of Edinburgh air pollution protests and Scotland’s most polluted streets are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHskrG52pg

4. In 2018, 4 sites in Edinburgh breached legal limits for air pollution. Queensferry Road (for PM10 and Nitrogen Dioxide), Nicolson Street, and St. John’s Road (both for Nitrogen Dioxide), and Salamander Street (for PM10). https://foe.scot/press-release/scotlands-most-polluted-streets-2018/

5. 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.