Responding to the announcement that, following budget negotiations, a Workplace Parking Levy will be included in the Transport Bill, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Air Pollution Campaigner Gavin Thomson said:

“It is welcome news that Councils will be given the powers to reduce the level of cars travelling into our towns and cities at peak times. This policy can be used to discourage car use whilst encouraging public transport use, with benefits for air pollution and climate emissions and so should be welcomed by all.”

“In most Scottish cities, a large proportion of people don’t have access to a car. Public transport users are disproportionately lower paid workers or those seeking employment, so finding funding mechanisms that improve the availability and accessibility of public transport begins to address the fundamental unfairness of our current transport system”.

“It was revealed this week, that 7 sites across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee have air pollution levels that are breaking the law, and endangering the health the young, the old and those with existing health problems.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Budget agreement reached between SNP and Greens https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-47056844
  2. Revealed: Scotland’s most polluted streets https://foe.scot/press-release/scotlands-most-polluted-streets-2018/
  3. Health impacts of air pollution:
    Friends of the Earth Scotland estimate that 2500 people die early each year from air pollution in Scotland alone: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/RCP-Report
  4. Air pollution, at levels seen on Scottish streets, has been linked with:
    -Respiratory illness including asthma and COPD Heart attacks and strokes
    -Low birthweight and delayed development in babies whose mothers have been exposed
    -Poor lung development in children
  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 5,000 local activist groups