Environmental campaigners say allowing hundreds of polluting cars to bypass Dundee’s proposed Low Emission Zone (LEZ) would be “absurd”.
Friends of the Earth Scotland has criticised “massive exemptions” which, if implemented, would mean commuters would be able to enter the zone if accessing three city centre car parks.
The council has revealed a third of the people who responded to a recent consultation said they would prefer a ban on all non-compliant vehicles from an area bounded by the Inner Ring Road.
The option included allowing access to multi-stories at Bell Street, West Marketgait and Wellgate, which together contain space for 1,800 vehicles.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s air pollution campaigner, Gavin Thomson, said omitting Lochee Road from all LEZ options was another mistake.
Lochee Road and Seagate are regularly listed among the most polluted streets in Scotland with illegally high levels of nitrogen dioxide.
Mr Thomson said:”A Low Emission Zone in Dundee that doesn’t include Lochee Road and exempts all car parks is clearly absurd.
“The council’s own analysis shows it will still leave residents choking under illegal levels of air pollution.
“We can’t cut air pollution whilst allowing the most polluting vehicles to drive to car parks in the city centre.
“Exempting car parks from an LEZ defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
“It critically undermines the zone and does little to create the fossil fuel free city that Dundee needs to be for the 21st century.”
The consultation offered five options, which covered various areas of the city centre, with variations on what vehicles would be restricted.
The survey results contained responses from 1,336 respondents, with 35% backing the inner ring road as the boundary with car park exemptions.
Mr Thomson said the range of options offered by the council was too narrow and did no not address the scale of the changes needed.
“If the Council pushes ahead with this absurd design, it will continue breaking the law on air pollution,” he said.
“It will force polluting cars on to different streets, kicking the can down the road for a future administration to deal with. People can’t, and shouldn’t have to, wait for clean air.”
Dundee City Council said the results would help officers mould the zone before a final proposal is brought back before the community safety and public protection committee in due course.
The report will also be discussed at a meeting of the committee on Monday.
Its depute convener Lynne Short said: “Prioritising air quality is crucial to us becoming the vibrant and attractive city we want to be, with an excellent quality of life where people choose to live, learn, work and visit.
“The high level of interest and engagement in the consultation exercise reflects the importance to people of our desire to create a city that is the best version of itself.”