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New online tool tracks air quality improvements in Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone

In advance of the launch of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone’s Phase 2 on 1st June, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency have set up a new interactive tool through which people can follow air quality improvement in city.

Phase 1 of the scheme was implemented at the end of 2018 and applied only to buses. Phase 2, which applies to nearly all vehicles, is currently in operation but it will only be enforced from the start of June. Those living within the zone have been given a year’s grace.

The new tool highlights the progress made by city’s bus fleet, graphically demonstrating how pollution has been driven down in some of the busiest bus corridors.

There are four resources at the top of the page for visitors to use. The first, ‘Glasgow Hope Street’ shows hourly concentrations of  NO2 as measured by the Glasgow Kerbside monitor based there. The graphic shows how many hours a year the site has exceeded 100 micrograms per cubic metre since 2018.

‘Bus Fleet’ demonstrates how the city’s buses have moved towards becoming 100% compliant since the pre-LEZ years. 

‘Air Quality Map’ shows areas in which the average annual concentration of NO2 was over 40 micrograms per cubic metre.  A slider allows the user to view how these levels have diminished over time. ‘Air Quality Charts’ provides similar information as charts.

Dr Andrew Malby of SEPA said: ‘Phase one of Glasgow’s LEZ focused on the city’s buses and, using data collected by Glasgow City Council and bus operators, we’ve been able to show the improvements in air quality as the fleet underwent significant improvements. 

‘While the focus has been along bus corridors, improvements are also now required in all other areas of the city centre. This will be achieved during the next phase of the LEZ when all vehicles are required to meet emission standards.’

Cllr Angus Millar, Glasgow City Council Convener for Transport and Climate said: ‘While evidence suggests air quality improvements in city centre streets where buses were historically the main drivers of air pollution, we still have stubbornly high levels of harmful air pollution throughout the city centre – and while up to 90% of vehicles entering the zone will be unaffected by the LEZ, restricting access to the remaining minority of vehicles that pollute the most is vital to protect public health.’

The new tool can be found here.

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