Scottish council looks to step up air quality measures following decision to set up AQMA in Musselburgh High Street
Council chiefs in East Lothian met this week to review progress on an air quality Action Plan for residents in the Scottish borough.
Cabinet members discussed a range of measures within the Action Plan on Tuesday (14 June), focusing on air pollution concerns at Musselburgh High Street.
In 2013, the council declared Musselburgh High Street an Air Quality Management Area from its junction with Newbigging and extending westwards to the junction with Bridge Street.
The AQMA which must be declared by the council in response to whether it is likely to comply with air quality objectives – was set up following the results of monitoring in the area.
Following approved and statutory requirements, air quality on the High Street continued to be monitored for a 12-month period to provide detailed data to inform an Action Plan.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, cabinet member for environment, said that the Plan will focus on effective, feasible and proportionate measures to improve air quality in the area.
He said: The air quality concerns within Musselburgh centre on nitrogen dioxide levels which are primarily produced by emissions from local traffic congestion, particularly from older diesel buses.
A number of initiatives have already been put into place to tackle this including productive meetings with local bus operators who are phasing in newer, cleaner vehicles and Lothian Buses have confirmed their intention to include electric powered buses on their routes that include Musselburgh High Street.
Cllr Hampshire added: A range of practical measures currently in place or being developed will be detailed within the Action Plan which will be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of October 2016.
East Lothian council meanwhile has developed a range of partners including other local authorities, transport companies, Scottish Government and the East Central Scotland Vehicle Emissions Partnership, according to the councillor.