Get fit, save money and help reduce air pollution

Heading Image

With the worst of winter behind us, it is now easier for you to get out and about, make the most of active travel options and take advantage of those extra minutes of daylight.

Just as William Willett, the man responsible for the invention of Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1907, wanted to encourage people to get out of bed earlier in the summer, we are hoping to inspire you to enjoy the lighter mornings and evenings by embracing active travel.

Leaving your car at home and choosing to walk, wheel or cycle instead is a simple way to keep fit, improve your wellbeing and enjoy the longer and warmer days. An additional benefit is that you will be helping Scotland reduce its air pollution levels and reduce carbon emissions.

Scotland’s air quality is generally good, but a number of pollution hotspots remain – predominantly caused by road transport. The planned Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow aim to reduce pollution from vehicle emissions, tackling both poor air quality and climate change.

If you live close to a Low Emission Zone in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow why not choose public transport or active travel for your journey? You could consider walking, wheeling or cycling to places close by, or to a bus stop or railway station if the journey is a bit longer.

Take a big step to reduce your carbon footprint! Choosing active travel is not only a great way for you to stay active and keep fit, but will also help you to save money, improve your health and wellbeing, all while helping to reduce air pollution levels.

How fit you get is entirely up to you! Regular walking, wheeling and cycling can help you increase your fitness levels while e-bikes let you decide how hard you want to work. If you have lots to carry about town you could even consider getting an e-cargo bike. Interest-free loans are on offer from the Scottish Government. Find out more about support available through the Energy Saving Trust.

When the LEZs come into effect, vehicles that do not meet the minimum emission standard and enter a LEZ will face a penalty charge. These vehicles will include older petrol cars registered before 2006 and diesel cars registered before September 2015.

Another way of helping to reduce air pollution is by using the public transport options available in our cities. All four Scottish cities establishing LEZs have comprehensive public transport systems which make it easy to travel without a car. For example, check out Aberdeen City Public Transport Guide or Transport for Edinburgh’s website.

Making these small changes to your daily life and choosing active travel or public transport when you can, will make a big difference to your own health and wellbeing as well as being a great way to improve air quality for everyone and help protect against climate change.