Tuesday 2 February 2016

Dundee air quality concerns - council brings in consultants to tackle concerns

I have welcomed news that Dundee City Council has engaged expert consultants to look in-depth at the air quality problems at two locations – Lochee Road and Seagate – and recommend possible steps that could further improve the air quality in these areas.

The City Council’s Head of Community Safety and Protection has advised me that the council has commissioned two consultants- SAIS & Bureau Veritas - to undertake scenario testing of possible traffic management solutions and other mitigation options covering the Lochee Road.   The council is awaiting the outcome the assessments of the Lochee Road expert work and expects to receive the final reports by the end of March.   

In relation to Seagate, JMP Consultants has been commissioned to undertake a review of the transport issues currently being experienced by all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and operators, taxi users and operators, hauliers, cars, residents and business.   This has the aim of identifying options that would improve traffic movement and reduce air pollution concentrations.    In the case of Seagate, the council has received a draft report which recommends a traffic management solution for the area and the proposals are currently being considered. 

I welcome the work being undertaken to look at possible additional measures of improve air quality in these areas, although any proposals will have to be carefully considered.     It is vital there is a proactive approach to tackling the air quality issue.   

I have raised this on numerous occasions with the council in the past and we need to see a situation where no Dundee streets have unacceptable air quality.   A significant number of my own 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.

Recent work by Friends of the Earth again highlighted concerns about air quality in the two streets in Dundee as being amongst the most polluted in Scotland.   The full details are below:

Top 10 most polluted streets for nitrogen dioxide in 2015 (figures in microgrammes per cubic meter, European standard 40): 

St. John's Road Edinburgh: 65 microgrammes
Hope Street Glasgow: 60 microgrammes
Seagate, Dundee: 50 microgrammes
Atholl Street, Perth: 48 microgrammes
Lochee Road, Dundee: 48 microgrammes
Union Street, Aberdeen: 46 microgrammes
Queensferry Road, Edinburgh: 41 microgrammes
Wellington Road, Aberdeen: 41 microgrammes