A briefing ahead of the Scottish Parliament debate on the ECCLR Committee’s air quality report on 17th April, with a special focus on the need to improve plans for Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone.

Key points in tackling Scotland’s illegal air pollution

1. Air pollution is still killing off around 2,500 people a year in Scotland and we are not on track to meet the Scottish Government’s target of clean air by 2020.

2. Top priority must be making sure that Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone, to open in Glasgow at the end of this year, is as effective as possible. A very recent commitment of Scottish Government cash means that the current lacklustre proposals can be made much more ambitious before they are finalised in a month or two. Glasgow must set a good example or it will endanger the ambition of the LEZs to follow by 2020 in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.

3. For Scotland’s Low Emission Zones to be a success, emissions from buses, vans, lorries, cars, and taxis must all be cleaned up in urban centres as quickly as possible. In Glasgow, this means that within a year, all buses running through the city centre should be Euro VI compliant, and other vehicles should be included in the zone as soon as possible thereafter.

4. Low Emission Zones must be supported by other policies, including Road User Charging, which bring about modal shift away from the private car and towards more sustainable modes, namely, walking, cycling and public transport. ECCLR