Air pollution levels drop in the West End

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Air pollution levels on two heavily populated West End Glasgow roads have dropped extensively since 2016, new figures reveal. 

Glasgow City Council has been working to reduce the Nitrogen Dioxide Levels on Byres Road and Dumbarton Road since 2007 – when an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was established.

Nitrogen Dioxide readings sat at 38 ug/m3 in 2016 before reaching 23 ug/m3 in 2020 and rising slightly again to 25 ug/m3 in 2022. 

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On Dumbarton Road, Nitrogen Dioxide levels sat at 45 ug/m3 in 2016 before dropping to 24 ug/m3 in 2022.

The AQMA had extended from the junction of Byres Road and Great Western Road, south to Dumbarton Road and west along Dumbarton Road as far as Thornwood Drive roundabout. 

During Thursday’s City Administration Committee, Glasgow councillors  agreed to the revocation of the AQMA and recognised that air quality has been improved to the benefit for everyone who lives, works and uses the area.

Councillor Jill Brown said: “I think it will certainly be a comfort to residents that the pollution levels are dropping. 

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“I would be keen to understand what comfort they can take in terms of future monitoring, obviously not within this structure, to ensure there are no backwards steps taken in terms of air pollution in this area.

“Can you provide any more information on the layout of Byres Road and the additional traffic lights that have been added which will lead to more cars idling and the impact that has had.”

Councillor Angus Millar confirmed that the monitoring of air pollution which is currently in place in the area will continue.

He said: “The revocation of the air quality management area is simply a statutory and technical change to the legal framework around air quality management.

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“It doesn’t mean air quality monitoring will not be taking place. We will continue to monitor to ensure compliance with air quality levels in all areas of the city.

“In terms of any changes to the road layout in the area, I believe this has been raised at committee and officers have gone away and prepared some responses on that basis.

“My understanding is that additional monitoring has been taken in respect of those local road changes and the interim results that have been recorded that would suggest that the levels of air pollution are significantly below the statutory objectives.”

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