MSP: Help air pollution hazard at Bearsden school with £20m upgrade fund

Measures should be taken to mitigate air pollution at Bearsden Primary School playground as part of a £20 million schools upgrade, an MSP said this week.

MSP Ross Greer at Bearsden Cross with the primary school in background

At a meeting of the full council on Thursday, September 23, Councillors unanimously agreed to commit the cash for refurbishment work to both Milngavie and Bearsden primary schools.

It was also agreed that the council would “actively engage” with the parent councils of the schools involved, as well as the wider community.

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This week, Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, who lives in Bearsden, welcomed the news – and called for some of the money to be spent on improving air quality in the playground. The local MSP has long campaigned for action to be taken on air pollution in Bearsden. Back in 2016, the junction of Drymen Road and Roman Road was one of 10 sites in Scotland that failed to meet national air quality standards. The playground of Bearsden Primary School sits on this corner.

Mr Greer told the Herald: “The air pollution problems at Bearsden Cross are nothing new and neither is the science showing the disproportionate effect this has on the health of young children.

"Some £20million of investment between the two schools is excellent news but I hope some of this money is spent on mitigation measures aimed specifically at improving air quality in Bearsden Primary’s playground.

"The Parent Council have done considerable research into what those measures could look like, such as pollution barriers which could attach to the playground fence, so I hope they will be consulted on how this money is spent.”

The budgeted costs of the projects will be incorporated in a full update of the Council’s 10-year capital investment plan, and grant funding will also be sought from the Scottish Government Learning Estate Improvement Funding (LEIP) programme, where energy consumption is a key consideration.

Joint Council Leader Councillor Andrew Polson said: “The nature of these projects, incorporating energy efficiency and sustainable heating solutions, ensures we are moving away from dependence on fossil fuels in line with our commitment to address the climate emergency and will also ensure they are eligible for LEIP funds.”