Green MSP Ross Greer has called on the Scottish Government to tackle the problem of pollution in Bearsden by creating a Drymen Road Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which means that the highest polluting vehicles such as lorries would need to pay a penalty charge.
While the Government had previously been in support of one pilot LEZ in either Glasgow or Edinburgh, it was announced this month that they would aim for a LEZ to cover the centres of the four biggest cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee) by 2020. After this, the Government plans to bring in LEZs to cover some of the 38 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) - the list of Scotland’s biggest pollution hotspots which includes an area in Bearsden by 2023.
The area in Bearsden, which includes Bearsden Cross, Canniesburn Toll and all of Drymen Road frequently displays high levels of pollution. In 2016, the junction of Drymen Road and Roman Road was one of ten sites in Scotland that failed to meet national air quality standards. The playground of Bearsden Primary sits on this corner.
Mr Greer has written to the Scottish Government calling for Bearsden to be included in the first wave of LEZs, he said: “Dirty air is not just a problem for city centres.
“Locations like Bearsden Cross have a large number of highly polluting vehicles passing through on a continuous basis.
“It’s particularly alarming that the worst location is around the Drymen Road/Roman Road traffic lights, just yards from the primary school playground. Our children need cleaner air now.
“It’s essential that action is taken here without delay - a Low Emission Zone would be an effective and appropriate step to make the air cleaner.
“Three thousand people a year die prematurely in Scotland any many thousands more develop or have their health conditions aggravated by air pollution.”
According to Friends of the Earth around 2,500 Scots are dying every year from the effects of pollution.
They say that exhaust fumes have been linked with cancer, allergies, asthma, strokes, heart attacks, restricted foetal development, damaged lung development in children and the onset of dementia in adults.