Bearsden Cross: Radical action needed to tackle worsening air pollution, says MSP

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Green MSP Ross Greer has called for stronger action to tackle air pollution on Drymen Road at Bearsden.

The MSP, who lives locally, made the call during the recent World Environment Day (Wednesday June 5), pointing to a growing environmental and public health crisis across Scotland.

Drymen Road has frequently been pointed to as a pollution blackspot and is an officially designated Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

The legal daily maximum particulate levels have been exceeded on two separate days so far this year.

Air pollution, the theme of the UN World Environment Day, is responsible for an estimated 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland each year and studies have linked it to increased risks of childhood asthma, heart disease, dementia and miscarriage.

The World Health Organisation has warned there is no safe level of exposure to particulates, which are one of the main contributors to air pollution.

The Green MSP has called for a local Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on Drymen Road to be explored, with the aim of reducing the number of highly polluting vehicles such as lorries passing through Bearsden Cross.

The MSP said: “Air pollution is an invisible killer and it’s getting worse, so we need the new Low Emission Zone powers in Scotland to be as strong as possible. That’s why MSPs must take this opportunity to strengthen the current proposals and reject Tory wrecking amendments.

“In Bearsden, Greens are leading calls for a Low Emissions Zone to be explored as part of a package of radical actions to tackle the public health emergency of air pollution.

“These measures, such as improving rather than cutting access to bus services, investing in cycling and walking, and redualling the rail line to Milngavie will have other positive effects such as tackling the climate crisis. It’s time we treat this with the urgency it deserves.”

Ross said that air pollution, the theme of the UN World Environment Day, is responsible for an estimated 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland each year and studies have linked it to increased risks of childhood asthma, heart disease, dementia and miscarriage.

The World Health Organisation has warned there is no safe level of exposure to particulates, which are one of the main contributors to air pollution.

MSPs are currently voting on amendments to the Transport Bill which would give Scottish councils the powers to introduce Low Emission Zones. Councils in major cities, particularly Glasgow and Edinburgh, are already working towards Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in their city centres but Ross said that Tory MSPs have put forward amendments to weaken the legislation.