One of Scotland’s most polluted roads will not be included in Dundee’s low emission zone project.
Lochee Road was being considered for the low emission zones (LEZs) scheme at the request of West End councillor Richard McCready, but has since been dropped for fear it would cause traffic chaos.
The decision has caused anger among residents such as Duncan Webberley, who moved to Dundee in September last year.
Initially, he was not aware of the air pollution situation on Lochee Road, but since learning of it he has been trying to get the council to take action.
The LEZs will see the high polluting vehicles barred from Dundee city centre.
What is it like to live on one of Scotland’s most polluted streets?
Lochee Road has consistently ranked as one of the worst polluted streets in Scotland, prompting numerous calls for action.
It is even estimated that air pollution played a part in the deaths of 55 people across Dundee in 2017.
Duncan said living on Lochee Road has “exacerbated” his eczema.
“I am really angry the road isn’t being considered for the low emission zones anymore.
“I keep my windows closed, no matter how hot it gets, because of the pollution.
“It gets really hot in the living room at times because the sun shines directly into it, but it’s not worth opening the windows with all the traffic that passes.
“It’s been bad enough during lockdown. It’s going to be hell when everything is lifted and there’s more cars on the road again.
“The council really need to do something. It’s all very well saying that including the road in the LEZs will cause congestion elsewhere, but what about the people who live here?”
Duncan has even taken to downloading an app which measures air pollution and sending his findings to Dundee City Council.
Fear for impact on childrens’ health
Becky Keogh, 31, lives on nearby Rankine Street, where a lot of traffic builds up as cars wait to turn on to Lochee Road.
Her eight nieces and nephews, aged between six months and nine-years old, regularly visit. She admits air pollution is not foremost in her mind, but thinks it would be if they lived there full-time.
“If they were actually living here I would be more concerned,” she said.
“Luckily they all live a bit out of the way where there isn’t so much traffic, so that means when they do visit here it’s not so bad. They’re not constantly dealing with it.
“Anything the council can do to improve traffic congestion and air pollution in this area would be good.”
‘Cannot ignore poor air quality’
Councillor Richard McCready is disappointed about Lochee Road’s omission from the air pollution plans, but is hopefully the issue is being looked at.
While he accepts it “may very well be the case” that making Lochee Road a low emission zone would affect traffic elsewhere, he insists council officers should do “everything they can” to improve air pollution there.
“We are still in the midst of a health crisis, but we cannot ignore that poor air quality has a significant impact on the health of many Dundonians.”
Why is Lochee Road not being included?
A council report, which will be discussed by councillors on Monday, claims traffic congestion on surrounding streets would be too problematic.
City Road would see an increase of 2,500 vehicles pass through it over a 12-hour period if Lochee Road was restricted, the report claims.
While it is no longer in the running to be made a low emission zone, a council spokesman said work is being prepared to reduce air pollution in the area.
A report on those findings is expected later this month at a city development meeting.
Other upcoming developments include bus firm Xplore introducing its first all-electric buses on the Lochee Road route, and the barring of right turns at the Rankine Street and Cleghorn Street junction.
It is hoped this will improve traffic flow, which in turn will reduce car fumes.