Hope Street is 'most polluted' in Scotland

A GLASGOW city centre street has again been dubbed "the most polluted in Scotland".

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A report by an environmental group said Hope Street was No 1 in the top 15 most polluted sites, with its reading almost double the European standard for nitrogen dioxide.

Friends Of The Earth Scotland carried out the analysis and claims air pollution targets are still being missed across Scotland.

The Glasgow Kerbside monitor, which is at the bottom of Hope Street, read an annual mean of 72.5 microgrammes of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter last year, almost double the European standard which is set at 40.

All 15 sites across Scotland were failing the nitrogen dioxide standards, which were supposed to be met in 2005.

The research also looked at levels of particulate pollution – the most dangerous form of air pollution.

On this scale, Glasgow Kerbside was the sixth worst location in Scotland, with Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, making No 10.

All of the top 10 most polluted streets for PM10 – particulate matter such as dust, dirt and pollen in the air – fell short of the Scottish objective of 18, which should have been met in 2010.

Kerbside read 23.6 for PM10, with Dumbarton Road at 21.

Two other west Scotland areas made the nitrogen dioxide table.

They were the Raith Interchange on the M74 and Central Road, Paisley.

But it is the Glasgow figures that have again highlighted the dangers to city residents.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to people's health, with fumes from cars, lorries and buses, killing off at least 10 times the number who die in road crashes every year."

The Evening Times reported last March that Hope Street is seriously polluted because it is lined on both sides by high buildings and is a major traffic and bus route.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Air quality has improved significantly in the city over the last few decades.

"The council's Air Quality Plan has introduced a number of measures that will continue this trend.

"It should be recognised that the Glasgow Kerbside monitor is located immediately beside traffic and is in no way representative of the air quality levels found across the city."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "A number of measures are being implemented to reduce air pollution in Glasgow, including a commitment from Glasgow City Council to introduce and enforce Low Emission Zones at the Commonwealth Games venues in 2014."

matty.sutton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Environment

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