I’ve taken my time, read widely, and given it thought. Dundee’s Low Emission Zone plan has several flaws.
Being honest, it is to a degree window-dressing. We’re rushing to keep up with other cities, trilling: “We’re green! We’ve got an LEZ.”
But the increasing number of electric cars and buses is already reducing air pollution.
And in any case, a little more Dundee-specific thinking should have been applied.
What is this LEZ going to do?
It isn’t really a green policy because it doesn’t make pollution go away. It just shifts where it is.
Lochee Road isn’t included, despite its pollution levels. A health scheme for some residents but not others is unfair.
And wise Dundee heads won’t be surprised by what will actually happen when the Low Emission Zone is activated.
Because it is a small area, with a continuous route around it, if anyone is going into town to visit (for instance) the last remaining branch of their bank, they’ll be dropped off while their “lift” circles the ring road. Same at night for anyone being picked up from a pub.
Emissions on the inner ring will get worse.
And we won’t stop taking the car and rely on buses. They don’t come on time, they often don’t come at all. And when they do turn up they are mobile gang huts.
Simple alternative to Dundee Low Emission Zone
The existing Dundee traffic layout hasn’t been taken into account by the Low Emission Zone planners. It’s already impossible to drive through the centre, one side to the other.
So we could have achieved better results for air quality with just two measures that wouldn’t drastically alter the way traffic already moves:
1. Make the Seagate car-free between Commercial Street and East Marketgait.
2. Make the Nethergate car-free between West Marketgait and Crichton Street.
Of course, that wouldn’t allow a song and virtue-signalling dance to be made of our “proper” LEZ. But no loss there.
Will Dundee Low Emission Zone lead to ghost town?
Belief, in the form of hard cash, has been shown in its viability by Mike Ashley. We should all show belief in the heart of the city.
It doesn’t take much medical training to understand that if you cut the main artery to the heart, the patient dies.
Therefore, one change surely must be made before we implement this anti-car scheme.
We have to retain all-vehicle access to the Overgate car park – down North Lindsay Street, along Willison Street. No one lives in those streets to breathe fumes anyway.
I’ll say it again because it’s important: protect the Overgate at all costs.
Anything that discourages shoppers is another step towards a ghost town. What’s the point of clean air if no one goes to the centre to breathe it?
I honestly wonder if the people who dream up these plans ever visit Dundee or understand the city and its people.
If we’re all to be healthier, that’s great. But make a Low Emission Zone to fit Dundee, not a Dundee that fits a Low Emission Zone.