Air pollution impacts negatively on human health; particularly so for the very young, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
Glasgow is committed to cleaning up the city's air and as we mark Clean Air Day 2020, albeit virtually this year due to COVID-19, we're highlighting just some of the work going on to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
In Glasgow city centre, levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide are being recorded at levels which do not meet statutory objectives. The main source of this air pollutant within the city is from road traffic.
To help turn this around, we introduced Scotland's first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in our city centre on 31 December 2018.
Glasgow's LEZ is being phased in and to start with only applies to local service buses, however when it's fully implemented (most likely in 2023), all vehicles entering the zone will have to meet specified exhaust emission standards.
The Scottish Government is committed, through the 2018 Programme for Government, to help those who will have most difficulty preparing for the introduction of low emission zones in the four cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. More details about LEZ funding available can be found here.
Further information about Glasgow's LEZ are available here including details of proposed emission standards, its geographical area and whether your vehicle is likely to comply.
The grant award of £1.15m which was approved for acceptance by the council in January 2020, paid for or enhanced a variety of initiatives to promote and support sustainable transport uptake across our city, as well as reducing congestion. These included:
Temporary measures to provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, are being introduced across the city.
Many schools across the city experience a number of traffic related issues at the beginning and end of each school day. We therefore introduced the 'School Car Free Zone' pilot project which aims to address such issues by limiting traffic in the streets surrounding schools at key times, creating a predominantly car free zone.
The scheme also promotes active travel to school by walking and cycling, which in turn will help to reduce congestion and pollution in the area.
SCFZs are soon to be expanded across a further 21 city primary schools through the Spaces for People programme.
Switching to active travel is a fantastic way to contribute toward improving air quality and is beneficial to your health and fitness. If you don't have far to travel, you could consider walking or cycling to your destination.
Don't have access to a cycle? Why not consider Glasgow's hugely popular cycle hire scheme? Operated by nextbike on behalf of the council, now is the ideal opportunity to try this popular mode of travel, with a promotional offer of 30 mins free standard hire for every rental. Until March 2021, for casual users of the scheme, every rental under 30 minutes duration is free of charge, and for existing subscribers, this has been extended to the first 60 minutes of any hire. There is no limit on the number of times the offer can be used by a person. Find out more here.
ECO Stars is the FREE recognition scheme that aims to help fleet operators improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions whilst achieving cost savings.
The initiative is operated on behalf of the council by TRL and is available for fleets of any size.
Membership has shown in numerous case studies to have had a dramatic improvement in fuel efficiency which not only saves money for organisations, it also results in a reduction in environmental impact.
Read more here about how Eco Stars can help your business.
We operate a range of automatic and non-automatic monitoring equipment in various parts of the city. We own and operate eight automatic monitoring stations. These monitor a variety of pollutants including nitrogen dioxides, particulates, and also ozone.
In addition, we act as Local Site Operators on behalf of the Scottish Government for a further four automatic air quality monitoring sites in Glasgow. These are located on Hope Street, Great Western Road, Townhead and High Street.
More information on how we monitor air quality can be found here.