Dundee councillor Richard McCready has hit out at transport bosses for considering making one of the city’s busiest roads bigger after declaring a climate emergency.
Council officials proposed making Lochee Road a dual carriageway in a bid to improve air quality.
It was one of three options councillors were asked to consider earlier this week.
The city thoroughfare is one of the most polluted streets in Scotland.
Councillors rejected the proposal, but nevertheless West End councillor Richard McCready lambasted the idea.
He said the eyewatering £18.9m price tag would have been better spent buying residents their own electric car.
The project would have led to houses being demolished.
Mr McCready said: “For £18.9m, the council could have looked at a feasibility study distributing electric cars to local residents.
“£18.9m would provide around 460 Teslas, or even around 760 Nissan Leaf electric cars.
“I was glad that across political parties councillors were concerned that this proposal had even been considered.”
What improvements are in store for Lochee Road?
Councillor opted for junction widening at Dudhope Terrace and Polepark.
This is expected to improve traffic flow, reducing congestion and improving air quality.
Today is #CleanAirDay
I will be campaigning for better air quality in the West End and across Dundee.
We need to promote 🚶active travel, 🚌cleaner buses & everyone needs to do their bit to promote clean air and to deal with the climate emergency. pic.twitter.com/xaQWlYnzX8
— Richard McCready (@rbmccready) June 17, 2021
An estimated 22,000 vehicles travel along Lochee Road on average every day.
The proposal comes with a £5.62m price tag.
Mr McCready accepts it’s “right and proper” proposals are fully developed, but wishes to see action “sooner rather than later”.
“Fundamentally, the important point is to see progress on improving air quality at Lochee Road,” he added.
What else is being done to improve air quality on Lochee Road?
A feasibility study on cycle lanes along the route is expected next year.
Other improvements on the horizon include a city centre Low Emission Zone, which will ban high-polluting vehicles.
Bus operator Xplore will also introduce all-electric vehicles on its Lochee Road service.
City development convener Mark Flynn said it is “still very early days” in improving air quality.
“It is vital that we have evidence, including the impact on air quality, on which to base our ultimate decision to ensure we achieve a better quality of life for residents, traders and visitors,” he said.