Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh sees increase in number of polluted streets

Princes Street
Image caption Princes Street has officially been deemed to be affected by transport pollution

Environmentalists are calling for "urgent action" after an increase in the number of Edinburgh streets affected by transport pollution.

There are now an additional six miles of streets that have been deemed officially polluted in the capital.

Tourist areas Princes Street, George Street, most of the Royal Mile and the Grassmarket are all now included.

Edinburgh City Council said it was looking at ways to cut pollution in the busiest parts of the city.

Gorgie Road, London Road and some of Easter Road also make up the additional six miles of polluted streets.

The city council is extending its existing three air pollution problem zones: central, St Johns Road and Great Junction Street and adding two new ones at Inverleith Row and Glasgow Road.

The Cowgate, the Grassmarket, most of Gorgie Road, London Road and the top of Easter Road will be added to the central zone.

The Great Junction Street zone has had Bernard Street, Commercial Street and North Junction Street added.

Cleaner vehicles

Dr Richard Dixon, Friends of the Earth Scotland's director, said: "Having to include even more streets in the pollution zones is a sure sign that a decade's worth of action plans have failed.

"Pollution from cars, vans, buses and lorries are still making the capital's air bad for our health and the council needs to take urgent action on transport to bring Edinburgh's air up to scratch.

"We need fewer and cleaner vehicles, as well as more action on public transport, walking and cycling."

Councils are obliged to declare air pollution problem zones for locations where European, UK or Scottish air quality targets are not going to be met.

Lesley Hinds, the city's transport and environment convener, said: "Despite 98% of our city meeting strict air quality standards, this is still an important issue for the council and local communities in Edinburgh.

"There are a number of proposals currently being considered that will look at reducing pollution in our busiest parts of the city.

"These include the council's city centre vision which aims to encourage walking and cycling in the city, as well as our current consultation on low emission zones."

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