Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has used Clean Air Day to call on the Scottish Government to follow the example of an English local authority which is pioneering a new air monitoring system.
Westminster Council is using its fleet of electric Refuse Collection Vehicles to take a comprehensive survey of air quality standards which is constantly updated.
The system involves fitting an air monitor to each of the vehicles so that they can collect information as they visit each street in the local authority.
The Scottish Government has recently launched an investigation into new technologies which could be used to monitor and help clean up our air.
Christine Jardine said:
“This could be a perfect example for the Scottish Government to look at trialling, particularly here in Edinburgh where we have such badly polluted roads.
“Refuse lorries are rare in that they regularly visit every street in towns and cities so with monitors on board they could provide a comprehensive picture of the air quality.
“When I suggested this to the previous SNP-led administration on City of Edinburgh Council their response was disappointing but hopefully the Scottish Government can be persuaded of its potential.
“We know that around 40,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in the UK every year, and that virtually every home in the UK is subjected to air pollution above World Health Organization guidelines.
“A project like this has the potential to save lives by identifying the worst affected areas and enabling action to be targeted there.”