Cleaner Air for Scotland - annual progress report 2017/18

Second annual progress report for Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy.

1. Ministerial Foreword

This report outlines the progress made in 2017/18 to deliver ‘Cleaner Air for Scotland – The Road to a Healthier Future’, Scotland’s first separate air quality strategy. Cleaner Air for Scotland was published in November 2015 with an overarching vision that Scotland’s air quality will be the best in Europe. Over the last two years, we have made significant progress in starting to deliver this vision through the 40 key actions contained in the strategy.

Key achievements to date include:

  • Implementation of a refocused Local Air Quality Management system (LP1).
  • Establishing and expanding the monitoring network for PM2.5 (LP2).
  • Adopting World Health Organisation values for PM2.5 into legislation (H1).
  • Producing revised and updated Scottish action plans to demonstrate how compliance with the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive will be achieved (LP3).
  • Ongoing development of detailed air quality models for the four major Scottish cities associated with the highest levels of poor air quality, to support Low Emission Zone implementation (LP7).
  • Delivery of the National Walking Strategy Action Plan (T2).
  • Completed evaluation of the former Bus Investment Fund (T5).
  • Review of the Switched on Scotland Roadmap for electric vehicles, and publication of a subsequent action plan (T9).
  • Report on “Synergies and Tensions between Climate Change and Air Quality Actions” produced to inform development of the new Scottish Climate Change Plan (CC1).
  • Publication of updated guidance on air quality and planning (P3) and biomass (CC3).

Delivery of some actions has been reprogrammed, mainly as a result of significant shifts to the wider policy environment around air quality, including the ongoing reviews of the National Transport Strategy and the Scottish planning system. Where this is the case, the plan remains to deliver these within the initial five year lifetime of the strategy. Further detail can be found in the main body of this annual report.

Collaborative working between the Scottish Government and a wide range of partner organisations, overseen by the Cleaner Air for Scotland Governance Group, has been the basis of our progress to date. We have welcomed two new members onto the Governance Group - the British Heart Foundation and Professor Campbell Gemmell – who will bring a fresh perspective and some important areas of expertise.

We have also announced significant additional funding which will support the work of Cleaner Air for Scotland. £10.8 million has been provided to support the introduction of Low Emission Zones during 2018/19 along with £0.75 million to support local authorities with Air Quality Management Areas to develop transport-based actions.

We continue to make progress towards securing full compliance with EU ambient air quality Directive requirements by 2020. Current projections indicate some limited areas of non-compliance in Glasgow by this date, which we are working to address.

Following completion of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s inquiry into air quality, we have committed to a full review of Cleaner Air for Scotland by 2020. This will ensure that we remain on target to fully deliver the current actions and help to identify priorities for future work.

Although we have made a good start, we cannot afford to be complacent and recognise that much more needs to be done. There are many challenges still to come as we move towards putting in place Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone by the end of 2018 whilst continuing to progress all the other actions in the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy.

With a concerted effort to work together, we can continue to realise the vision of Cleaner Air for Scotland, helping to create and maintain a strong, healthy and fair society, with clean air for all.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for
Environment, Climate
Change & Land Reform

Michael Matheson MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for
Transport, Infrastructure
and Connectivity


Email: Andrew Taylor

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