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BBC podcast on traffic pollution


Traffic pollution kills and makes people ill, in this File on Four programme,  they state it is 2nd only to smoking in terms of health impacts.

This podcast asks " So why are most UK areas in breach of legal limits? And do ministers have any clear plan to reduce the huge annual total of resulting deaths? 

The inertia and failure to recognise the problem deescribed in the programme is bad enough, but in Edinburgh we have a Council not only failiing to get a grip but working methodically  to make the effects of traffic created pollution MORE acute across large areas of the city.

The tram project, which had it been properly conceived ought to be an improtant factor in reducing pollution, will in fact make pollution far worse over a period of decades  because of the abject failures of understanding, ambition and courage embedded within the original conception.

In Edinburgh virtually the entire (already inadequate) central arterial road system is being seized by the tram railway for a project unable to share that roadway space, with the unadmitted but undeniable consequence that the trraffic is going FROM often uninhabited streets INTO densely populated residential roads, unable to carry the traffic as effectively.

The same amount of traffic takes it's pollution load FROM uninhabited main arterial routes and because residential roads cannot carry it as smoothly and effectively INCREASES it in those roads. 

Th problem is well described in this File on Four podcast-- and levels the charge that in effect the council in London are fiddling their figures.

Our Council's own foundation report on the trams described (at the beginning of the project, in 2003) well  over 65% of the residents WILL have WORSE air quality BECAUSE of the tram project - the response, from a Council now apparently paralysed by their own PR spin and councillors bewildered by the mismatch between the predictions in their own report, and emerging evidence, and reality, has been to fudge and fiddle the figures.

Elsewhere on this website are documents and articles designed to provoke an open debate about this problem, which will, unless addressed properly, increase illness and even  unnecessary deaths, within the city.

The File on Four programme simply sets out very well a general context within which the scale of the ongoing failure of Edinburgh's present transport policies in the city can be judged.