Glasgow breathes sigh of clean air relief


Glasgow City Council has announced it is ready to withdraw its city-wide air quality management plan after a decade of progress on bringing pollution levels down in Scotland’s biggest city.

Latest air quality assessments show ‘air pollution continues to decrease in Glasgow, with 95% of the city now meeting all air quality targets’.

Road traffic emissions, particularly from diesel vehicles, are still the main cause of problems in the remaining trouble areas.

Council officials put key progress over the last three years down to a range of factors including a bus quality partnership, which only allows lower emission vehicles on particular public transport routes in the city.

There has also been the introduction of a car club, as well as sustainable transport projects such as the Eco stars fleet management scheme - the city’s first all-electric bus service and a major cycle hire scheme.

Cllr Alistair Watson, Glasgow City Council’s executive member for sustainability and transport, said: ‘The issues around air quality are often directed towards local authorities, but really big policy drivers, for example in terms of diesel engines and buses, are in the hands of central or devolved government. Councils need to be given the appropriate powers and resources to address these issues.

'While we have made very good progress, we recognise that there is more to be done. We will continue to work together with our partners to reduce air pollution levels and improve the health of our citizens. We will also work closely with SEPA, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government to help shape the forthcoming Low Emission Strategy which will have a significant impact on the approach local authorities take to air quality in the foreseeable future.’

Glasgow’s first Air Quality Management Area (AQMAs) was declared in 2002 for the central area and subsequently an action plan was produced in 2004.

Since then the management area was expanded to include Parkhead Cross and for the Byres Road/Dumbarton Road area.

In 2009 a further action plan was drawn up to improve air quality in the three AQMAs designated on the 1 July 2007, and a city-wide AQMA was introduced in 2012.

The plan set out a number of actions, ranging from Low Emission Zones to Tree Planting, to reduce levels of the air pollutants Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10).

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Those attending will be one of over 1,200 Scottish road professionals at Scotland's only free-to-attend exhibition and conference for those committed to the continual improvement of the Scottish road network.

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