The SNP recently brought back their proposals for a Low Emission Zone in the city centre.
The proposals were originally defeated, having been branded "unambitious" by opposition councillors.The plans only allowed for a Low Emission Zone covering the city centre, and left some of the most polluted roads in Scotland completely uncovered, including Queensferry Road, Glasgow Road and St John's Road. More than this, the plan risked simply pushing air pollution problems further out from the city centre into other communities, rather than fixing the problem itself.
Rather than make any substantial changes, the SNP/Lab administration then brought back the same plans for agreement with very little change. This time however, the Greens decided to support the SNP and push the plans through.
The Liberal Democrat amendment, to implement a city-wide low emission zone for the most polluting vehicles, was voted down by the administration and Green councillors.
Lib Dem councillor on the transport committee Kevin Lang said the scheme, though approved, remained "too timid in it's ambition and too slow in it's implementation".
Concerning the Greens' decision to push through the plan, he told the Edinburgh Evening News, "I was proud to vote alongside them in taking a firm line to try and get the most ambitious LEZ we could. It has taken us five years to get to this point. Who knows when we’ll have the chance to have a look at this again? I think it’s a great shame the Green group are caving in on this.”
The Liberal Democrat group will continue to push for ambitious solutions to air pollution across Edinburgh, but especially along those heavily polluted roads which will be left out of this scheme.