Air pollution problems in Leith are not being adressed as quickly as the authorities hoped, and so further measures have been agreed to deal with them.
As the map above shows The Great Junction Street Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is to be extended, to cover North Junction Street, Commercial Street and Bernard Street. Additionally, the City Centre is to be exteneded to cover London Road between Elm Row and Easter Road and the southern part of Easter Road to Albion Road.
Both zones are being exteneded largely on account of the fact measurements of Nitrous Oxides on these streets breach EU rules and the council has to take action to reduce air pollution to below legal levels.
However, the level of fine particulate matter in the air, (or dust!) known as pm10’s are also said to exceed Scottish Government targets in Leith too.
Exhaust fumes from large diesel engines are the primary source of Nitrous Oxides and so amongst the actions the council is to consider taking is the enforcemetn of a Low Emissions Zone in these areas. This could see a ban on some types of vehicle from the affected areas – or a congestion charge on some types of vehicle – introduced. But not for ages.
Of course, if the council did more to promote and encourage cycling and walking, one of the other options for tackling the problem proposed in the latest council report on the issue – like installing safe cycle lanes on Leith Walk – then it may not have to go to the expense and inconvenience of setting up a Low Emissions Zone in 2015.
If you haven’t resonded to the council consultation on the future of Leith Walk yet – this point might be worth mentioning – along with these 13 others.