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I'm missing an obvious and important element as cause of bad air quality in cities, bad traffic light management.
Of course the main polluting source is fossil fuel engines used by car and polices should be aimed at reducing the use of it.
But they cannot be eliminated and replacing them with alternatives is a very long term goal.
So in the mean time the next thing is to use them more efficiently.
In this light I am baffled that no one has mentioned, let alone pressed a more efficient use of traffic lights.
I have not come across any town/city where the traffic lights are managed in a more intelligent way.
Planners still are stuck with the paradigm that they need to be used to reduce traffic speed.
The result is that traffic does not flow, lots of stop starts of cars in cities. Car engines are used at their worst performance, causing a high emission of tiny particles.

Priority should be given to deploying more intelligent traffic light management systems. Creating so called green waves and synchronising pedestrian crossings with nearby traffic lights. St Johns road in Edinburgh is mentioned in the report as one of the worse areas for air quality. It also is a shining example of very bad traffic light management. A high density of traffic lights of which none of them seem to be synchronised to each other or to any pedestrian lights in between them.

Maggie Megabyte

Why are the Scottish Ministers allowing an incinerator just a mile up the road from Chapelhall, one of the most polluted zones? Of course, the 'tolerable' emissions spewing out from the Simon Howie incinerator in Monklands won't be noticed by them. Heaven help the asthma sufferers in the area.

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