Thursday June 20, 2019, marks Clean Air Day (CAD) – a red letter day for air quality

That’s when people and organisations will come together across Scotland for the annual event to raise awareness of the difference we can all make to the air we breathe.

Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS), is once again coordinating Clean Air Day on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Cleaner Air For Scotland (CAFS) strategy. The CAFS strategy aims to make Scotland’s air quality the best in Europe.

CAD 2019 will showcase simple, but effective steps we can all take to reduce pollution and recognise the health benefits of smarter travel choices.

Road transport contributes to around a third of NOX emissions in Scotland and one of the aims will be to encourage people to leave the car at home.

Ways in which local authorities can get involved include:

  • Getting people to sign pledge cards which will soon be available for download from the Clean Air Day Scotland website to catch a train, bus, the Subway, tram or bicycle (or even a combination of these options!) for the daily commute. 
  • Families could walk or cycle with the children or grandchildren to and from school. 
  • Encourage people work from home on June 20 2019?
  • A community walk like the one organised by a GP surgery in Inverness on Clean Air Day 2018 is also a tremendous way of encouraging people to come together socially and improve their fitness and overall health. 
  • Councils could reward staff who cycle or walk to work with free fruit and people can wear a CAD t-shirt to show their support for the event and health boards could reinforce their existing messages around active travel initiatives.
  • Local authorities, other public sector organisations and private companies can raise awareness of active travel options and the grants available for cycle schemes and the travel routes available. 
  • Encourage people travelling on foot or by bicycle to cut their exposure to air pollution by choosing quieter routes. EPS last year conducted a study for last year’s event that found primary and nursery school children were being exposed to 30% more particulate pollution compared to adults when walking along busy roads compared to quieter routes.
  • Councils can utilise messages around vehicle engine highlighting, to discourage the practice and draw attention to the fines that can be imposed.
  • This year’s Clean Air Day will also highlight how purchasing an electric vehicle or joining a car club cuts emissions and congestion

CAD will also aim to encourage motorists to switch off their vehicle engines while stationary, improving air quality, particularly in congested areas such as outside schools.

Already City of Edinburgh, Aberdeen City Council, Glasgow City Council, Renfrewshire and Aberdeenshire Councils are planning public events or visits to schools or are planning on promoting their air quality policies, active travel and no idling messages as part of Clean Air Day.

To find out more visit

If anyone requires further information about how they can take part, please email EPS at call us on 0141 333 6655.