Is your street one of the country’s most polluted?

Car exhaust fumes

18th January 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Edinburgh’s St John’s Road has taken the unenviable title of being Scotland’s most polluted street.

It beat Glasgow’s Hope Street to the top spot while Dundee’s Seagate came third.

The figures are revealed in a Friends of the Earth Scotland report using Scottish Government data which shows the streets most affected by two harmful pollutants: nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and coarse particles (PM10) which are known to be linked with serious health problems.

Results have been published in light of news that the Scottish government may face court action if it fails to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution in Scotland’s major cities quickly enough.

The safety limit for nitrogen dioxide is 40 microgrammes per cubic metre, and for particles 18 microgrammes per cubic metre.

The top three streets reached levels of up to 65 for nitrogen dioxide.

Emilia Hanna from Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Air pollution causes over 2,000 early deaths in Scotland each year at a cost of over £1.1 billion to the economy.”

Top 8 polluted streets for nitrogen dioxide in 2015

Figures in microgrammes per cubic metre

Edinburgh St John's Road - 65

Glasgow Hope Street - 60

Dundee Seagate - 50

Perth Atholl Street - 48

Dundee Lochee Road - 48

Aberdeen Union Street - 46

Edinburgh Queensferry Road - 41

Aberdeen Wellington Road - 41

Hanna called on the Scottish Government and local councils to put more resources into cutting pollution and to ban high-polluting vehicles from city centres.

“The government must support local authorities with funding required to implement low emission zones in our cities to tackle the scourge of dirty air in our towns and cities,” she said.

The City of Edinburgh Council argued that actual exposure to pollutants by the public were lower.

It listed 14 actions it was making to improve air quality, and pointed out that 97 per cent of city streets met required standards.

“We are making every effort to address pockets of poor air quality in the city,” said the council’s transport and environment convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds.

in the Glasgow City Council area, 95 per cent of the city now met air quality targets though Dumbarton Street in the city’s west end is one of the most polluting streets in the country.

“While we have made good progress, we recognise that there is more to be done,” said a council spokeswoman.

“We will continue to work together with our partners to reduce air pollution levels and improve the health of our citizens.”