The most dangerously polluted streets in Scotland have been revealed by official monitoring.
14 streets in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Falkirk, Perth, Crieff and Cambuslang were a public danger thanks to particles and gases polluting the air in 2016.
“Our addiction to cars is killing us,” Emilia Hanna from Friends of the Earth Scotland told the Herald. “But it’s those who tend not to drive who are worst impacted by the pollution: children, the elderly, and those living in poverty.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland found that the most polluted place in Scotland is Hope Street in Glasgow.
Average levels of the nitrogen dioxide in 2016 were found to be 65 micrograms per cubic metre, more than 60 per cent over the legal limit of 40.
The nitrogen dioxide limit was also exceeded on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow, and on St John’s Road and Queensferry Road in Edinburgh.
In Aberdeen the limit was breached on Wellington Road and Union Street, in Dundee on Seagate, in Cambuslang on Main Street and in Perth on Atholl Street.
“The Scottish Government has a duty to ensure that people in Scotland can breathe clean air,” said Alan Andrews, a lawyer with the environmental group, ClientEarth.
“If the Scottish Government fails to take action it will be failing in its legal duty to protect the people of Scotland and will leave itself wide open to legal challenges in the Scottish courts.”
Dr Sean Semple, an air pollution expert from the University of Aberdeen said: “Inhaling fine particles and gases such as nitrogen dioxide at the levels reported in these streets has been shown to be associated with increases in mortality and ill-health, and with poorer quality of life.
“To improve air quality we need to consider restrictions on car use, particularly for short journeys, and look at ways of rebalancing our approach to personal transportation in favour of public transport, walking and cycling.”