Photo of the week: Alex Cole-Hamilton in a gas mask to highlight air pollution

ACH gas mask

Edinburgh Western and Lothian List candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton took to the most polluted street in Edinburgh this week. St John’s Road in Corstorphine, where he has his campaign office, is the most polluted road in Scotland. It’s one of the main routes from the west into Edinburgh.

Pollution levels in Corstorphine and Queensferry Road are a national disgrace. They represent a clear and present threat to public health, yet the SNP, who have been in charge of this City and this country for nearly a decade, continue to drag their heels.

Almost 2,000 Scots die prematurely each year as a result of vehicle emissions and nowhere is this risk more present than in communities that span the arterial routes into Edinburgh. Investment in my 5 point action plan will actually save our country money in the future in terms of reduced demand on health services and days lost to work through illness.

Alex has a five point plan to get emission levels down.

1: Regular (at least weekly) spot checks of vehicle emissions in St John’s Road and Queensferry Road by Council Enforcement officers with fines imposed on drivers with vehicles operating outside legal levels.

2: Accelerated roll out of and investment in electric and hybrid buses on all public transport routes.

3: A fundamental increase in investment in active travel across Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council area including improvements in the cycle path network and safe walking routes

4: A complete moratorium on house building on the greenbelt in West Edinburgh in order to prevent a further increase in congestion levels on arterial routes through West Edinburgh.

5: Increased investment in public transport links serving the airport and outlying villages, including a direct bus route to the city centre from Kirkliston and South Queensferry and the introduction of an airport bus along the Queensferry Road Corridor.

The Edinburgh Evening News covered the story.  The comments are ridiculously hilarious.

I wonder how Arnold Schwarzzenegger, who’s been cycling not far from the spot, compared the pollution in Edinburgh to California.

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  • the pollution in costorphine has high for years and most of these years it had Lib Dem councillors, a Lib Dem MP, a Lib Dem MSP, a Labour/Lib Dem Scottish Government.

    1. to correctly test emission level you need to insert gas tester in exhaust pipe of a correctly warmed vehicle otherwise test is not to VOSA standard. The problem in corstorphine is vehicles are idling in the queues.

    2. Edinburgh already has hybrid buses and LRT has one of the best renewal schemes in the country. The 26 route is one of the longest in the city so not practical for pure electric.

    3. Most traffic going through corstorphine is not local so not easily replaced by bicycles and walking. It is technically the A8 Glasgow Road.

    4. most of the housebuilding is now in North around Granton or East at Prestonpans

    5. The bulk of the express buses are the 900 and M8 cityexpress services. The Queensferry services run on the Queensferry Road.

  • He wants to have regular (at least weekly) spot checks on drivers with fines handed out if their car falls an emissions test?

    Yeah, because it’s not enough that a car is tested for emissions yearly during its MOT. What the public are really crying out for is to be stopped by the police at least once a week and have their car subjected to no less than 52 emissions checks a year.

    Well, that’s one lib dem that is NOT going to be elected…

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