Reacting to the news that Lothian Buses have recorded an extra two million passengers on Lothian Buses services in 2015, Air Pollution Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland Emilia Hanna said:

 

“Lothian Buses’ success story is an inspiration to the country. Buses are an incredibly important solution to Scotland’s ongoing problem with air pollution, which is responsible for over 2500 early deaths every year. Good quality, well run buses eliminate traffic congestion and are essential to the majority of Edinburgh citizens who don’t travel by car. The City of Edinburgh Council is making good progress by working together with Lothian Buses, and continuing to invest in walking and cycling paths, but we still have five Pollution Zones in the capital where levels of toxic air are dangerously high. The Council needs to put even more effort into cleaning up our air, and people living in the City will be looking for strong pledges from Council candidates in next year’s elections. 

 

“Unfortunately, the national trend is that services in rural areas are being cut and patronage is falling. A national smart card which could be used on every bus and form of public transport in the country needs to be introduced as soon as possible to give people the freedom and ease to use public transport more regularly.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

[1] Lothian Buses’ press release is at: http://lothianbuses.com/news/article/record-passenger-numbers-for-lothian-buses

 

[2] For maps of areas in Scotland which are breaking Scottish Statutory standards on air quality visit http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/laqm/aqma.

 

[3] 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