It seems obvious that in this public health emergency the last thing we should be doing is dropping public health measures that protect people’s lungsMark Ruskell
The postponement of Low Emission Zones in cities in Scotland is a public health disaster, the Scottish Greens have said.
The decision to shelve the plans, most of which were already considerably underway, comes at a time when the Covid-19 crisis has heightened the urgent need to reduce air pollution.
Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell warned of the impact of a delay to Cab Sec Roseanna Cunningham in the Scottish Parliament , but the Scottish Government has pressed on with delays.
Commenting, Mark Ruskell said: “Low Emission Zones are a measure to limit exposure to illegal levels of dangerous air pollution which kill thousands of people a year. Research has linked traffic pollution to poor Covid-19 outcomes.
“It seems obvious that in this public health emergency the last thing we should be doing is dropping public health measures that protect people’s lungs. Now is the time to be consolidating our gains and making our cities safer, not postponing progress to make things worse. This move is a public health disaster.”
In virtual Scottish Parliament questions Mark Ruskell said on 24 April: “Poor air quality makes us vulnerable to Covid-19. Those who have been scarred by the disease will need the cleanest of air to recover. There is a danger that, when lockdown is lifted, there will be a surge in air pollution from traffic.”