Rutherglen Air Quality Management Area long overdue – Robert Brown

23rd June 2018

The Rutherglen Air Quality Management Area declared under South Lanarkshire’s Air Quality Action Plan is welcome but long overdue, according to Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown. The Council’s Action Plan is out for public consultation until 3rdAugust.

Robert Brown is keen to have suggestions from the local community as to ways in which it can be improved.

Robert Brown said:

“Until the 1960s the main cause of poor air quality would have been industrial pollution or smoke from household fires. Now it is by a mile caused by motor vehicles, particularly at busy junctions like either end of Rutherglen Main Street. There are now far more vehicles on the roads than there were 20, 10 or even 5 years ago.

However it is clear from the document that the problem of air pollution is one that needs action right across Rutherglen. This is important for many reasons but particularly because it damages the quality of life for many people with breathing conditions like asthma.

The Action Plan is welcome but long overdue and it needs to be strengthened in key respects if it is to be effective.

There are a number of key issues to tackle –

  • engine idling at school gates and when vehicles are stopped at junctions
  • traffic congestion which causes a lot of emissions in congested areas
  • unnecessary through traffic in residential areas
  • badly maintained vehicles which pump out exhaust fumes
  • older buses causing greater pollution

I want to see a focus on tackling traffic pollution hotspots, protecting residential areas, reducing the emissions in Rutherglen Main Street and improving public transport. These all play their part in tackling the problem of air pollution.

One interesting idea was the use of plants which can digest emissions and improve the air quality of key junctions.”

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