East Dunbartonshire council has published proposals to address air pollution in Bearsden – the town to the north west of Glasgow – in a bid to cut transport emissions in the area.
The proposals come after the area was declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) after investigations flagged up high levels of air pollution at Bearsden Cross, the area close to Roman Road and along the A809 Drymen Road/A810 Duntocher Road corridor.
According to the council, emissions from queuing traffic are a major contributor to the air pollution issues, and the action plan published today (16 January) will in part seek to address this.
Proposals include the installation of intelligent traffic management systems to reduce congestion and stricter parking controls near schools and hospitals.
According to the council, using intelligent traffic management systems could encourage a smoother flow of traffic through parts of the borough – resulting in a reduction in congestion and queueing of cars – which has been cited as a major cause of pollution by the council.
This could include employing TRL’s Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) system to regulate traffic flow, or Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) to coordinate traffic signals.
The council’s action plan states: “Queuing of traffic can result in elevated concentrations of pollutants, creating local hot spots. These elevated concentrations may be reduced or dispersed by the phasing of traffic signals in such a manner as to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic along a given street. Dispersion modelling indicated hotspots around Bearsden Cross and further analysis indicated congestion and queuing as contributing factors.â€?
Other proposals include measures to increase the number of electric car charge points across the region and investigating an increased use of electric and hybrid vehicles by the authority itself.
The council is seeking views on the proposals from residents and businesses affected by the plans.
Thomas Glen, the council’s depute chief executive – place, neighbourhood & corporate assets, said, “I hope as many residents and businesses in the Bearsden area as possible take the opportunity to get involved and comment on the draft plan.
“Once all of the comments and responses have been analysed, an amended plan will be published, taking into account appropriate comments.
“There will then be workshops and community events when, again, participation by residents and local businesses will be encouraged.â€?