City pollution 'at danger levels' in Scotland

Image caption WWF Scotland has called for action to tackle levels of air pollution

Scotland's major cities are being exposed to "dangerous levels of air pollution", according to an environmental charity.

WWF Scotland has analysed Scottish Air Quality data on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in parts of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.

The group said they were in breach of EU targets designed to protect health.

The Scottish government said it was working to improve travel choices and promote a low carbon economy.

Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: "It is totally unacceptable that Scotland has breached European air pollution targets for the second year in a row.

"As a result of a complacent approach thousands of people are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution in Scotland's major cities.

"Scotland has had plenty of time to take preventative action, so it is shocking that we have failed to put in place the measures needed to meet air quality targets and protect human health.

"This situation is a direct result of the failure of successive governments to produce a sensible strategy that adequately addresses air pollution and climate emissions from road traffic."

The Scottish government said it had set out a vision to make the country's roads as efficient as possible in its Infrastructure Investment Plan, while work was also under way to develop low carbon vehicle technology, promote "active travel choices" and encourage a shift towards public transport.

A spokesman added: "We are also making considerable investment in inter-urban connectivity across road and rail, illustrated through the recently completed M74 extension and Airdrie-Bathgate rail link.

"These types of investment are making a real difference to travel choices and journey times."

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