‘Edinburgh’s low emission zone can’t come soon enough’

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This won’t be a popular opinion with everyone but, for me Edinburgh’s low emission zone cannot come soon enough.

The air quality in certain parts of the city centre has deteriorated noticeably in recent years – and that’s only the bad stuff detectable by nose.

Climate change protests, strikes, and Armageddon warnings come on an almost weekly basis now, but has anyone’s behaviour actually changed?

For my part, I have to admit not much.

I’m part of the problem you see, and if measures like the low emission zone, closing off streets, and (yes, even) ploughing more money into the trams force me to change my behaviour then I’m all for it.

I’ve tried - I cycled to and from work for a long time before I got sick of the constant mouthfuls of fumes and the daily peril of negotiating rush hour traffic. Instead I’ll happily sit stuck in queues of idling traffic, spewing out fumes indiscriminately, until someone tells me not to.

Thankfully for everyone, that day is coming...and soon. Yes it’s going to be difficult for some businesses and residents, and admittedly it will take time to adjust, but change we must. We’re not going to solve the global environmental challenge by banning a few old bangers from Princes Street but it’s a first step – and a vitally important one.