Transport choices make a significant difference to global carbon emissions with motor vehicles the biggest CO2 emitters in the world.
It is estimated that around one-fifth of the vehicles on the road at 8.50am are involved in school run. There are also health implications of our transport choices. Firstly, a larger number of vehicles on the road could be seen to increase the level of danger to pedestrians and cyclists. Secondly, there have been some suggestions, albeit subject to debate, that vehicle pollution can contribute to illnesses such as asthma. Finally, choosing to walk or ride a bicycle rather than traveling by car is good for our general health and fitness.
Scottish Air Quality - What is the air quality like in your area right now? Air pollution level updated hourly across Scotland.
Nitrogen dioxide forms in air from the exhaust emissions from cars, buses, trucks and power plants. Click on the image below to view a larger version.
The detail in the above diagram can be more easily seen in PDF format - Annual Mean Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations (PDF).
Download the traffic count data set for your area from UK Department of Transport for local authorities on Scotland. Useful for pupils needing data sets for National Qualifications and Highers.
Scotland's environment map - Use this map to see the major ‘trunk’ roads that Scottish Ministers are responsible for.
Scotland's noise map - Use this map to find out about noise in your local area. What do you think causes the noise levels? Are you surprised by any of the results? If traffic was reduced, what would the impact be?
Traffic Counts map - Use this map and data finder from the UK Department of Transport to find out if traffic has reduced or increased in your local area since 2000. What type of traffic has increased or decreased? What has been the impact on your local environment? Useful for pupils needing data sets for National Qualifications and Highers.
Transport Scotland map - Use this map to find the location of traffic cameras. Transport Scotland monitors traffic and travel to help you plan your journeys.
ScotRail map and timetables - Use this map to plan your rail journeys with real-time information from ScotRail.
CycleStreets - a cycle journey planner for cyclists, by cyclists. Plan routes from A to B anywhere in the UK, with a choice of three routing modes to suit a range of cyclists from beginner to regular commuter.
Greener Scotland - Add, record and repeat short trips by bicycle and foot. Journeys. Brought to you by Greener Scotland. Help create a greener Scotland and a healthier you.
Traveline Scotland - Plan your journey anywhere in Scotland using this app from Traveline Scotland.
OPAL Air Survey
Take part in the OPAL Air Survey - OPAL provides air quality surveys to find out about the quality of the air you breathe in your area. Using indicator species such as lichens and sycamore trees, you could start to consider if there is a link between traffic and transport in your area and air quality. As part of this you should consider the accuracy of any data collected.
Footprint Calculator - Calculate your own environmental footprint and consider the impact of the way you live on the environment.
Sustrans Resources including:
BBC Bitesize video - about the development of transport, starting with the Victorian era.
Scotland's environment air infographic - click on the diagram to find out more facts about air quality and transport from Scotland’s environment.
Scotland's environment air infographic (PDF) -This diagram is also available in PDF format.
Report from the BBC - about the most polluted streets in Scotland in 2017.
This page was reviewed on 02 Sep 2020
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