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.

Waverley Edinburgh


What is the air quality like in your area?

Scottish Air Quality - What is the air quality like in your area right now? Air pollution level updated hourly across Scotland.



Find out about nitrogen dioxide concentrations in your area?

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).

What is the traffic count in your area?

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.

Traffic Congestion


How noisy is your local area?

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?



Has traffic reduced or increased in your local area since 2000?

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.



Location of Transport Scotland’s traffic cameras

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 helps you map and timetable your rail 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.

Cycle Street Logo

Traveline Scotland

Traveline Scotland - Plan your journey anywhere in Scotland using this app from Traveline Scotland.

Traveline Scotland

Citizen Science Surveys

Footprint Calculator

Footprint Calculator - Calculate your own environmental footprint and consider the impact of the way you live on the environment.

WWF - Footprint Calculator


Teacher and parent resources

Sustrans Resources including:

Air Infographic

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.

The most polluted streets in Scotland

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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