Ruskell welcomes Holyrood inquiry into air pollution
Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (4 July) welcomed news that Holyrood's Environment Committee is to conduct a major inquiry into air pollution, an issue he believes is a "public health crisis".
Mark led a Holyrood debate on the issue last month, highlighting the fact that the problem has worsened with the number of air quality management areas across Scotland rising to 38.
His member's bill which aims reduce the urban speed limit and cut air pollution is currently open to consultation.
Mark Ruskell MSP said:
“To see the number of air pollution hot spots in Scotland rising rather than falling shows that this is a public health crisis, and I'm delighted that the Environment Committee will take evidence on the issue and hold the Scottish Government to account. Ministers are far too quick to pat themselves on the back for what they think is helpful spending on walking and cycling, when the reality is it's a drop in the ocean compared to the billions they are pouring into measures that encourage more car use and more traffic pollution, which in turn causes heart attacks and lung disease.
“The High Court ruling on the UK’s air pollution plans requires the Scottish Government to urgently review its own strategy, and the committee's inquiry will help bring pressure to bear. One easy action we could take is what my member's bill proposes: drop the speed limit in built-up areas from 30 to 20 mph and this will reduce the pollution from diesel exhausts. There are many other actions we could take to improve air quality in our town and city centres but we need ministers to wake up and smell the toxic fumes."
Consultation on Mark Ruskell's member's bill: