Move to reduce pollution level in Rutherglen
Rutherglen has been made an air quality management area due to pollution in the town.
Councillors on a community services committee approved the step yesterday (Tuesday).
An order detailing the move will come into effect on January 1 and an action plan will be produced over 12 to 18 months with measures to reduce levels of pollution in the Burgh.
Rutherglen Main Street is regularly listed as one of Scotland’s most polluted streets.
Earlier this year, we reported that the NO2 figure for the town had increased from 37 in 2013 to 41 last year, above the legal limit of 40, placing it 12th on the national list.
The Main Street was also failing to meet the particulate matter limit of 18, recording a score of 19 for the second successive year, again placing it 12th.
A report to councillors reads: “Fleet and Environmental Services have carried out a comprehensive multi stage review and assessment of air quality within South Lanarkshire Council boundaries.
“The latest detailed assessment for the Rutherglen area highlights that there are areas that are not likely to meet the air quality objectives for particulate matter (PM10). The council is therefore required to designate this location by order as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).”
Local Green Party activist, Susan Martin, said the M74 extension was responsible for the levels of pollution in the town.
And she called on the Main Street to be pedestrianised to prevent the problem getting worse.
She said: “Obviously the motorway has contributed to the pollution and I think this should be a case for pedestrianising part of Rutherglen Main Street.
“It’s not outwith a street designer coming up with a better traffic flow system, where maybe traffic going east goes down Queen Street and King Street and traffic going west could go along Kirkwood Street.
“That would half the amount of traffic and could tie the buses up with the railway station.”
Local authorities across Scotland are required to review and assess the air quality within their geographical areas.
The process is designed to identify areas where pollution levels exceed UK Air Quality Strategy Objectives and to enable any local authority that identifies such an area to develop and implement a plan with stakeholders to improve air quality within the area.
Lanark was also made an AQMA at Tuesday’s meeting. The Whirlies Roundabout in East Kilbride is already designated as one.
North Lanarkshire currently has six, the highest in Scotland, while Glasgow has three.
Air we go Busy roads such as Mill Street are responsible for air pollution here