I have welcomed a commitment by Dundee City Council to ensure a redesign of the Lochee Road junctions at Polepark Road and Dudhope Terrace is undertaken, something I have long called for. This would help to make improvements in air quality in an area of significant air quality concern.
As residents know, I have long campaigned on air quality issues, particularly in relation to Lochee Road, where, as recently as January 2020, I again highlighted my deep concern that, yet again, Friends of the Earth had highlighted air quality concerns in Lochee Road in its Scotland’s most polluted streets survey with Seagate in the city also highlighted in the January national air quality survey.
At the council’s Community Safety and Community Protection Committee in September, I again called for the council to look again at the design of the junctions of Lochee Road at Polepark Road and Dudhope Terrace because more efficient vehicle movements will stop the tailbacks that have plagued the area over many years, and so help reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.
I am very pleased to be have been recently advised by the council that it is now to look at redesigning the junctions here.
Although there has obviously been a reduction in vehicles using Lochee Road during the COVID-19 health emergency and a resulting improvement in air quality measurements, it is vital that, as we hopefully see the health emergency end in the not too distant future, we don’t see a return to large tailbacks of vehicles at rush hour at Lochee Road, Dudhope Terrace, Polepark Road and Rankine Street, resulting in the air quality gains in 2020 being lost.
I am therefore pleased the council has taken on board my request to tackle the roads issues at this busy location.
The council’s Head of Sustainable Transport & Roads advised councillors :
“The Dudhope Terrace and Polepark Road junctions are constrained in their efficiency by junction configuration and road space, which combined govern the junction capacity. To achieve increased capacity, reduce congestion, and improve air quality, it is considered a junction redesign is required which can also accommodate improved bus priority and active travel provision. Enhanced capacity and traffic flow through the junctions will improve air quality through reduction of vehicle queuing and associated waiting times.
Investment in junction improvements on this principal route corridor will redress displacement of traffic on adjoining roads seeking to deviate from the route at points of congestion. In addition to road safety and place making considerations, enhancing the favourability of the Lochee Road corridor arterial route over adjoining roads will benefit the overall network traffic flow and resultant neighbourhood air quality.
Due to the urban constraints of the site, upgrade of the junctions would require significant engineering works and a preliminary road layout improvement proposal is being prepared which will be reported to the City Development Committee in mid-2021. The progression of an improvement project would be subject to the Council securing sufficient funding to develop a proposal.”
Additionally, an earlier commitment to look at the functioning of the nearby Cleghorn Street/Lochee Road junction following vehicle accidents is also welcome.
Redesigning these junctions is not the only way the air quality issue can be helped – the proposed low emission zone in the city centre should also assist streets like Lochee Road adjacent to it.
We all agree it is vital there is a proactive approach to tackling the air quality issue. A significant number of constituents live in the tenement flats on the south side of Lochee Road near to the junction where nitrogen dioxide are unacceptably high.
It is therefore important that the council has a clear strategy for improving air quality here and the commitment to redesign junction and improve traffic management on a road that usually sees thousands of vehicles using it every day is to be greatly welcomed.