National Clean Air Day
The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day is being held on 15 June 2017. The aim of the day is to encourage everyone to take simple actions to improve our health and reduce air pollution. To celebrate we have written a blog about the work we do as a Council to monitor and improve air quality in Edinburgh. Did you know?
- Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dimentia
- Drivers can be exposed to nine times more air pollution than cyclists because cars gather pollution from the vehicle in front
- Most of the pollutants that damage our health are too small to see, and they get through the gaps in simple fabric face masks
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to help reduce air pollution including:
- Use your feet and take to the street by walking, cycling, bus or tram
- Switching your engine off when stationary
- If you are thinking about replacing your car, consider buying a less polluting vehicle such as an petrol-hybrid or an electric car
A joined-up multidisciplinary approach is being taken to address concerns about air quality in hot-spot areas across the City by the Council. The new Spatial Policy team which came into operation in June 2016 includes officers from the Planning, Transport and Environmental Health disciplines.
The role of the team is to develop and coordinate policy and projects in relation to planning, transport and air quality with a view to securing outcomes that deliver better placemaking and linkages between spatial and community planning. Some of the actions the team are working towards delivering through the Air Quality Action Plan include:
- Promoting cleaner transport, in particular buses via voluntary means
- Adoption of fleet recognition efficiency scheme for reducing emissions from heavy goods vehicles
- Improving traffic flow and easing congestion by use of intelligent traffic signalling
- Promoting modal shift away from car use by means of an active travel action plan
The Council has also recently proposed to take a lead and work with the Scottish Government towards progressing Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone in Edinburgh.