Air quality and Low Emission Zone update

Air quality and Low Emission Zone update Image

MEASURES to improve Dundee’s air quality continue to achieve positive results, according to a new report, which also reveals the initial impact of lockdown on the city’s nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels.

Detailed data from 2019, set to go before councillors next week, reveals that the Hourly Average Objective for NO2 was met at all sites as well as all targets on pm10 being achieved and reductions in other particulates.

Provisional figures also showed reductions of between 4.3% and 73.5% in NO2 levels among the six monitoring points across Dundee when March to August 2020 was compared with the same period last year. The reduction in traffic during lockdown contributed significantly to these results.

Lynne Short depute convener of Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee said: “The ratified monitoring data for 2019 shows some positive comparisons with previous years and the measures we are delivering as part of our Air Quality Action Plan are also steps in the right direction, but more can and is being done to make our air quality better.

“Dundee continues to lead the way in its use and support of electric vehicles, promoting public transport, investing in ways of helping people make more sustainable transport choices and our commitment to introducing a Low Emission Zone between February and May 2022 in line with the revised Scottish Government deadline.

“We are determined that the progress we are making on improving air quality will continue at pace and improve the city for everyone.”

Modelling of the possible Low Emission Zone options for the city has been put on hold due to the impact of Covid-19 on traffic composition and flows. Work already carried out is likely to be made less reliable by the changes brought about by the pandemic.

As a result Transport Scotland with support from local authorities, will develop a set of high-level scenarios for post pandemic traffic that will be used to model the likely impact of LEZs.

In addition the council will look at ways of reducing both emissions and traffic congestion on the corridors accessing the city centre. Any proposed scheme will look at the effect of potential traffic displacement onto other less appropriate roads in residential areas, bus priority measures and active travel.

The report warns that any changes are likely to be “challenging”, due to limited road space and the need for “significant capital resources” to deliver air quality, journey time and active travel improvements.

Dundee's LEZ will develop an environment that helps to promote more active and sustainable travel choices in Dundee, contributes to the city's ongoing transformational change and helps to promote Dundee as an inclusive and desirable place to live, invest, visit and learn.

Air quality in the city is checked at various locations, with continuous monitoring for NO2 at Broughty Ferry Road, Lochee Road, Mains Loan, Meadowside, Seagate and Whitehall Street.

Particulates, tiny pieces of airborne solids or liquids including dust and dirt, are measured at Albert Street, Broughty Ferry Road, Lochee Road, Logie Street, Mains Loan, Meadowside, Myrekirk Terrace, Stannergate and Whitehall Street.

The report will be considered by the community safety and public protection committee on Monday (September 28).

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