Campaign groups call for more 20mph zones across Scotland

A new study suggests the majority of motorists are ignoring 20mph speed limits.
A new study suggests the majority of motorists are ignoring 20mph speed limits.
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Environmental campaigners are calling on politicians to follow Edinburgh’s lead by introducing default 20mph limits in towns and cities to help tackle air pollution.

The call comes as research shows 81 per cent of Scots believe it is important to tackle air pollution but only 28 per cent have taken steps to reduce the amount they create.

The research was carried out by Global Action Plan, which organised National Clean Air Day on Thursday. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said Scotland’s clean air strategy was helping people make changes but more work needed to be done.

Speaking during a visit to Sciennes Primary School, she said: “A year on and the package of actions set out in Scotland’s first clean air strategy is clearly helping people and encouraging them to think about ways of improving the quality of air in our communities.”

The Scottish Government said 40 actions had been taken to combat air pollution in the past 18 months, including becoming the first country in Europe to adopt World Health Organisation guidelines on certain types of air pollution and creating four new air quality management areas.

Further actions include working to create the country’s first low emission zone by next year and creating plans to boost walking and cycling.

Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna called on the government to go further.

Earlier this week, new data revealed Scotland met its annual climate change target for 2015 despite a slight rise in emissions to 45.5 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent.

Transport has emerged as the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.