THE Capital’s streets are still failing to hit tough European targets on air pollution and levels in some of the busiest neighbourhoods are continuing to increase, new data has revealed.
Edinburgh is among a group of urban areas across Scotland where plans to bring levels of nitrogen dioxide gas below EU safety limits are unlikely to be met before 2020, putting the health of hundreds of residents at risk.
Ministers at Westminster agreed to an air pollution law that required quantities of the toxic gas to be brought the below the legal safety limit of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre by 2010 but applied for extensions until 2015.
Streets in the Capital are well off hitting the target, with the level of nitrogen dioxide at Queensferry Road increasing from 45 to 46 microgrammes between last year and this month.
Toxic particles from vehicle exhausts are blamed for killing at least 1600 people a year in Scotland, and can trigger heart attacks, aggravate lung diseases and cause infections.