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DEFRA to Edinburgh Council--you are wrong; the residents are right!--release 34


Dated 04-01-2011

The Govt department DEFRA are providing new instructions for all councils in the UK measuring air quality following work by an Edinburgh resident.


Dr Ashley Lloyd, and Edinburgh resident, has maintained that the City of Edinburgh council figures for traffic created air pollution have been routinely and consistently under-estimated because of an error in applying a mathematical formula ‘correction factor’.


DEFRA, now agrees there is a problem, and has sent new instructions to all Councils on how they must properly interpret measurements….. amd highlighting exactly the issue (involving on street car parking) Something Dr Lloyd has been saying for over 18 months.


On this issue Dr Lloyd has been proved to be right and the council wrong.


This is a vital development in the process of the Council realising exactly how big the issues are because of the problems of traffic created pollution caused by the flawed Tram Project planning.


Dr Ashley Lloyd has maintained throughout that the ‘official figures’ on air pollution consistently underestimate the problem, and the reality is that the City is already breaking EU legislation on Air Pollution levels.


The Council have said they are not breaking EU levels but now Professor Laxen’s new instructions show Dr Lloyd has been right----and the Council wrong.


Quotes below from residents Dr Ashley Lloyd and resident Alistair Laing:

Dr Ashley Lloyd, resident:


“The application of the DEFRA correction factor is a technical, and in some ways complex issue, but the effect of the error by the Council has been to underestimate the real levels of pollutants in the Air being produced from traffic.”


“I believe it is very likely that the correct application of the factors may  show that Edinburgh is already breaking EU levels. This is crucial because the breaking of these levels, and the health dangers entailed, isn’t some sort of inevitable result of things beyond anyone’s control.”


“It is a direct problem of the waythe Tram project has been planned.”


There is no inevitable need to have to completely empty all the established main through routes for traffic that is only happening because of the way this Tram project was planned in this City.”


“ I believe the under estimation of air pollution is part of a number of mistakes arising from wrong headed thinking at the very beginning of the project that has resulted in the present situation in which we find ourselves.”


“The new instructions from Defra are just one more development in a process that must result in our Council looking urgently at the core problem underlying everything else—how to alter the Tram project to reverse the increases in Air pollution--- and not just carry on with business as usual.”


Alistair Laing, resident:


“Ashley Lloyd has put a tremendous amount of work into showing that flaws in the way the Tram project was planned will produce horrendous health issues for decades ahead in Edinburgh.”


“This development shows that finally people are waking up to the size of this problem and the gravity of the issues.”


EdinburghCouncil made the initial mistake of being beguiled by a picture of a traffic-free Princes street with café and continental bars lining the street.  They have tried to make this artist’s impression fit in with the reality of what is a light Train rapid transit mass mover system, not a Tram as most people understand it”


“This light train needs to run at such a high speed that it isn’t safe to interact with other traffic and so the very streets that have grown up as the main thoroughfares, and for that reason arelined by shops and offices with few residents, have needed to be emptied of traffic.”


“This traffic has to go somewhere, so the lorries, HGVs, vans, buses and cars are increasingly jammed through streets like Great Stuart Street, almost completely residential, twisting and cobbled and simply never designed to cope and unable to cope.”


“As the traffic inches through these winding streets the same number of vehicles produce immensely greater pollution both what experts term  tail pipe pollution, or exhaust gases, and also particulate matter, minute particles rubbed from brakes, clutches and other moving parts every time a car starts, and stops, and accelerates and brakes.”


“The Council have been in denial about every aspect of this problem but they cannot continue ignoring it--- They have been in effect careering along in the pitch dark without headlights and this development with Defra is a Red Light they will ignore at their peril.”

   1)                    2)


1)---Where the traffic used to flow, Shandwick Place pictured in the middle of what used to be called a busy Saturday afternoon. It  is often deserted yet it is the historic route through Edinburg, straight and wide, and  designed to carrytraffic  swiftly and efficiently, minimising pollution    ---    Fewer people live here

 2)   Where traffic fails to flow now, choking a residential street in the World Heritage Site, that the Council describe as a ‘Jewel in Edinburgh’s Crown’, the congestion last for  for hours a day . People living in these streets are seeing the traffic displacement now that will follow for more and more streets  across the City if the Tram is pushed through without changes….many.many more people live in the streets now seeing the traffic rises.

TIE’s own figures in 2003 predicted 134,500 households in Edinburgh would have worse Air Quality in respect of two elements of pollution caused by traffic --- these pictures show how this can happen.

These pictures can be supplied for use Royalty Free when used in connection with Edinburgh Tram project stories.  These versions are sufficient for websit