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Be part of the solution on Clean Air Day

Published Tuesday, 19 June 2018

group involved in Clean Air Day planting project in Rutherglen

We have launched a multi-media campaign urging residents to ‘be part of the solution’ on air pollution.

The move comes in the same week as the second annual National Clean Air Day, supported by the council and taking place on the longest day – Thursday 21 June.

Messages urging commuters, householders, schoolchildren and more to play their own small part in the campaign are going out across the week on billboards, buses, social media and newspapers.

Our environmental services have also produced an innovative ‘story map’ accessible through all of the council’s digital platforms.

‘The air that we breathe’ is an interactive ‘one stop shop’ for all resources and advice relating to air quality in South Lanarkshire.

It also details smoke control areas, electric charging infrastructure, park and ride information, cycling resources, historical pollution info as well as a whole host of other related material.

Importantly it also lists small differences we can all make, including:

• Sustainable travel – walking or cycling all or part of your journey
• Switching to electric vehicles
• Turning off engines when parked or stationary

Councillor John Anderson, the chair of the council's Community and Enterprise Resources, said: “Clean air is important to us all for our good health and wellbeing. That is why it matters that we each play our part in protecting and improving the quality of the air that we breathe. There are lots of steps we can take and if everyone contributes and makes these small but important changes, it will make a big difference to our environment.

“I am delighted to say that a lot of the work we are doing has been funded through the council’s successful bid for air quality grant funding from the Scottish Government. For 2018/19 we have secured almost £400,000 across three separate funding streams to support a range of air quality initiatives and monitoring activities.”

Across the authority the team has also undertaken a number of local projects.

Rutherglen Town Centre was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2016. As one of a number of measures to reduce pollution in the area, four large planters with ‘pollution fighting’ plants were recently installed at the junction of Stonelaw Road and Main Street. The greenery has been sewn along with other plants designed to support biodiversity.

The project is a partnership between various services of the council, community payback and local community group Grow 73.

The council has three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where levels of pollution, mainly due to road traffic, exceed national air quality guidelines:

  • Area surrounding Whirlies Roundabout, East Kilbride
  • Rutherglen Town Centre
  • Lanark Town Centre

Local Authorities who declare AQMAs must publish an action plan of measures they will take to achieve the national air quality levels. South Lanarkshire’s draft Action Plan, together with a non-technical summary, is now open to public consultation.

Links to the consultation, the ‘air that we breathe’ story map and a variety of other resources are on our Air quality page.