Ruskell criticises Scot Gov "woeful" investment as progress report shows increase in air pollution zones

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 June) criticised the Scottish Government's "woeful" investment in walking and cycling as a progress report on its air pollution strategy shows an increase in air pollution zones.

Four new air quality management areas were declared last year, bringing the total across Scotland to 38.

Mark Ruskell MSP, who this week led a debate at Holyrood on air pollution and is bringing forward a member's bill to make streets safer and cleaner, said:

“Scottish Ministers’ definition of the word ‘progress’ is clearly very different from the rest of us. To have more air pollution hot spots in Scotland rather than fewer shows that this is a growing problem, and no amount of extra paperwork and tweaks to websites will tackle it. Ministers also need to stop patting themselves on the back on investment in walking and cycling, which remains woeful, while they continue to pour billions into measures that encourage more car use.

“Last year’s High Court ruling on the UK’s air pollution plans requires the Scottish Government to urgently review its own strategy, yet so far it has failed to do this. We’ve seen from this week’s road death statistics that action is needed to make our streets safer. A 20 mph limit in built-up areas, as my member’s bill proposes, would not only make roads safer but would improve air quality. 

"We need to see new policies and funding from the Scottish Government to address this public health crisis.”