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Senior level

  • Light Trails Kingston Bridge
  • Waverley Edinburgh
  • Cyclist Edinburgh
  • Road And Road Signs


Transport choices make a significant difference to global carbon emissions. Motor vehicles are the biggest cumulative CO2 emitters in the world, and 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 travelling by car is good for our general health and fitness.

The Environmental Science and Biology ‘codes’ underneath each link refer to the Higher and National 5 Resource guides produced by Education Scotland. These can be accessed in the ‘Resources’ section of bit.ly/glowsciences (N.B. you will need a glow log in to access.) The Geography ‘codes’ will link to the SQA Unit Specifications.

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland - Map Application
Transport Scotland carry out traffic counts every day. Find out how many cars use major roads in your area. Type your town or area into the search bar at the bottom

  Learning Outcomes: N5.GEO.Global Issues 2.1
N5.GEO.Human Environments 1.2

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA - Latest Measured NO2 levels
Nitrogen dioxide is mainly produced by vehicles. What are the levels like across Scotland right now? Find out from the UK DEFRA site. Here you can view the detailed data and also a summary of information that has been displayed over the previous 24 hours.

  Learning Outcomes: H.GEO.Global Issues 2.2
N5.GEO.Human Environments 1.2

Scotland's Environment is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

 Opal Explore

OPAL Air Survey
OPAL provide 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

  Learning Outcomes: N5.ES.Living Environment 3 b
State of the Environment Report 

Scotland's Environment - Air Infographic
Quick facts about air quality and transport from Scotland’s Environment.

  Learning Outcomes: H.GEO.Global Issues 2.2
N5.GEO.Global Issues 2.1


Scotland's Environment - Infographics
Transport is still the largest source of nitrogen oxides, accounting for 29%. The annual mean concentrations of NO2 across sites affected by traffic are very variable and do not show any clear trends. Figure 3 shows the average annual mean NO2 concentrations at sites across Scotland in 2012; 17 sites had NO2 concentrations higher than the annual objective. Use the OPAL Air surveys to compare with what you find in your own area. Click on the diagram to view a larger version.

  Learning Outcomes: H.ES.Sustainability 3 a
N5.ES.Living Environment 3 b