'AS a Green politician, improving air quality is an issue I’ve always campaigned on.

It would be easy to assume that these dangers only apply to big cities, but last year the UK Government was ordered by a High Court judge to draw up an improved plan to bring air pollution within legal limits across the UK.

The lungs might be the only organ we think of when considering the parts of the body most likely to be damaged by pollution, but the British Heart Foundation points out other dangers. Evidence shows air pollution can make existing heart conditions worse and can cause heart attacks and strokes amongst vulnerable people. Damningly, they advise that people with heart disease should avoid spending long periods outdoors in areas where traffic pollution is likely to be high.

It’s incredible to reflect that air pollution takes an estimated 2,000 lives in Scotland every year. For many, air pollution will exacerbate existing heart and lung conditions tipping people over the edge. The growing bodies of the young and the frail bodies of the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

It’s clear the UK Government is not treating this issue seriously, however, the Scottish Government is also implicated.

I have previously challenged Scottish Ministers over a lack of action on air pollution from traffic, with the number of air quality zones in Scotland where pollution limits are regularly broken having risen to 38 by January 2017 - five more than last year.

Environmental law campaigners Client Earth have been mounting a long legal action against the UK Government’s weak plans. But in their case they also cite the Scottish Government.

The UK plans relied on dodgy emissions data from car companies such as Volkswagen rather than real life exhaust emissions from vehicles running in urban streets.

The High Court was also critical that the UK plan pushed action back to 2020 when we should be taking action to save lives today. The Scottish Government has made the same errors and is captured by the same ruling.

That’s why I told the First Minister at FMQ’s recently that her Government is failing to get to get a handle on dangerous air pollution levels across Scotland and must urgently review Scotland’s clean air strategy.

This should have been done last November when the High Court first ruled. There is a small window where the Scottish Government could improve actions.

There are many ways to cut pollution from rolling out 20mph speed limits to investing in walking and cycling infrastructure, introducing workplace parking levies and re-regulating bus services.

With Fife Council up and running, now is the time for joined up action at local and national level.'