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Move to re­duce pol­lu­tion level in Ruther­glen

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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