Seeing air pollution levels rise once again should frustrate all of us, especially when there is now clear evidence that poor air quality increases vulnerability to Covid.Ross Greer MSP
Green MSP Ross Greer has pointed to air quality data shows this year’s lockdown led to clear improvement in air quality around a Bearsden pollution hotspot, making the case that a permanent improvement from regularly high levels of air pollution at Bearsden Cross is possible.
The Scottish Government’s provisional air quality data collected at Drymen Road shows that while there is a small improvement in the overall monthly and yearly averages compared to 2019, a significant improvement has been recorded at rush hour since March, which is unsurprisingly given the lockdown.
Air pollution levels at Bearsden Cross have breached legal limits on a number of occasions over the last ten years and Greer, himself a local resident, has repeatedly called for action. He has lobbied both the First Minister and East Dunbartonshire Council for Drymen Road to become a Low Emission Zone. Highly polluting vehicles such as lorries would be fined for entering such a zone, encouraging them to take other routes.
Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for the West of Scotland, commented:
“Bearsden Cross is a national pollution hotspot. With a primary school playground beside a busy junction, this is a public health problem we cannot go back to ignoring. Whilst the reduction of traffic during lockdown reduced overall pollution levels it was most obvious during rush hour, when the problem is normally at its worst. These normal rush hour spikes coincide of course with the times that children are entering and leaving Bearsden Primary.
“We’re already seeing a return to the pre-lockdown levels of traffic and air pollution. That old normal was failing our most vulnerable residents, the youngest and oldest amongst us. Seeing air pollution levels rise once again should frustrate all of us, especially when there is now clear evidence that poor air quality increases vulnerability to Covid. I’m again asking the Scottish Government and the council to work with me to take action on this. We should be making it easier, cheaper and safer to walk and cycle, getting the dirtiest vehicles off our rounds and working relentlessly to suppress Covid so that people can feel confident getting back on the bus or train.”