Ruskell urges Ministers to pick up the pace on plans for Low Emissions Zones
Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Sep) urged Scottish Ministers to pick up the pace on plans for Low Emissions Zones to tackle the threat to public health from traffic pollution.
There are 38 pollution zones in Scotland where safety standards are regularly broken, including Bearsden, Glasgow, Johnstone, Coatbridge, Crieff, Cambuslang, Linlithgow, Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Falkirk, Dunfermline, Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness.
Today ministers launched a consultation on creating a Low Emissions Zone in each of the four largest cities by 2020.
Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife, this year led a Holyrood debate on air pollution, raised it at First Minister's Questions and prompted the Environment Committee to plan an inquiry into the issue.
“Traffic pollution causes lung and heart disease, and thousands of premature deaths every year in Scotland, so the fact that the Scottish Government is slowly waking up to the need for action shows the benefit of consistent Green pressure on this issue. We now need a commitment to fund Low Emissions Zones with local councils, given we have 38 pollution hotspots in communities across the country.
“While we await a decision on where the first of the LEZs will be, there are actions the Scottish Government can take right now to improve air quality in our streets. Reducing the speed limit in built up areas from 30 to 20 mph, as my member's bill proposes, would significantly cut pollution from diesel engines. The response to my consultation, from individuals and organisations, has been hugely positive and I'd encourage the Scottish Government to offer its support.”
Consultation launched on Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones: "The Scottish Government will be considering the required level of new funding for LEZs."
Mark Ruskell MSP is now consulting on a Members Bill to change the default speed limit in built up areas across Scotland from 30mph to 20mph.