This is the second annual progress report for Scotland’s air quality strategy ‘Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 – Towards a Better Place for Everyone’ (CAFS2) which was published in the summer of 2021. Since CAFS2 was published the Scottish Government has worked closely with our partners, through the CAFS2 Delivery and Working Groups, making progress across the actions set out in the Delivery Plan, building on the achievements of the previous Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy.
I am pleased to announce that for the first time, outside of recent lockdown periods, no automatic monitoring sites in Scotland are exceeding air quality objectives. This important achievement shows that actions being put in place, through tighter regulation, improved fuel quality, cleaner vehicles and an increased focus on sustainable transport, are delivering for the people of Scotland.
Glasgow City Council introduced Scotland's first (bus only) Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) in 2018. 2022 saw all vehicle LEZs introduced for the first time in Scotland. These innovative LEZs will effectively deliver pollution reduction in our city centres.
Over the past year we have worked closely with local authorities and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to strengthen the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) regime. Our partners have worked enthusiastically with us on the revision of LAQM policy guidance and I thank them for that.
We have published a baseline survey of current awareness amongst the Scottish public of air pollution health effects and source contributors. This is key to the development of our public engagement framework for air quality, helping to secure air quality improvements through effective communication and messaging.
In addition, the National Planning Framework 4 was adopted by the Scottish Ministers on 13 February 2023. It sets out our spatial strategy for Scotland’s long term development. Its preparation included consideration of air quality matters. The adopted policy is clear that development proposals will consider opportunities to improve air quality and reduce exposure to poor air quality.
It is vitally important that we build on successes to date and take continued action to drive down pollution levels still further, bringing real benefits for the health and wellbeing of our communities. I am encouraged by our partners’ clear commitment to achieving our shared vision of Scotland having the best air quality in Europe, and I look forward to these partnerships continuing.
Màiri McAllan MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition
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