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Glasgow Students Help Tackle Air Pollution

Ross Kelly

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Glasgow Clean Air Day

Students from Hyndland Secondary school in Glasgow helped unveil an event aimed at improving air quality in the city.

Glasgow’s George Square will see an influx of electric vehicles including Teslas and BMW’s in June to mark Clean Air Day – an initiative being championed by students from Hyndland Secondary School.

Pupils from the Glasgow high school helped to unveil the council’s plans for the event, which will take place on Thursday 21st of June between 10am and 2pm. Clean Air Day aims to encourage people across Scotland to embrace sustainability and an eco-friendly mindset by leaving their cars at home, cycling their children to school or by using public transport.

Developing an environmentally aware culture in Scotland will help improve the nations air quality in the long-term.

Greener Cities

On the day of the event, there will be special courses for Glasgow’s youngster to try out bicycles for the first time or for people to test ride an electric bike on the roads outside the City Chambers. A mini-pump track provided by 2018 European Championships will also provide people with the opportunity to bring their own bikes and scooters to test their metal on the jumps, twists and turns of the track.

The Clean Air Day is being coordinated by Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS) on behalf of the Scottish Government and working closely with UK organisers Global Action Plan. Glasgow is developing a reputation as a leading city in sustainability and low emissions, and towards the end of 2018 will become the first Scottish city to introduce a Low Emission Zone.

Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen all intend to follow suit with Low Emission Zones in an attempt to improve the air quality of Scottish cities. According to statistics around 2,000 Scots die every year due to illnesses cause by or worsened by air pollution.

In 2016, it was revealed that St John’s Road – located in Corstorphine, Edinburgh – was Scotland’s most polluted street. Ranked second place as the nation’s worst polluted street was Glasgow’s Hope Street.

Efforts to Reduce Emissions

The Scottish Government has been taking extensive action to reduce pollution levels in Scottish cities, and Glasgow City Council appears to be leading the way in this field.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said that reducing emissions is a “top priority” for the city, and that events such as these can help to raise awareness of the issue.

She said: “Reducing emissions is a top priority for the city. Events like Clean Air Day can increase awareness of what is being done to improve the quality of the air we all breathe.

“Clean Air Day will showcase a huge range of exhibits and activities such as active travel, renewable energy, car clubs and electric vehicles that can all help to improve air quality.”

Councillor Richardson also noted that big improvements have been made, however the issue of poor air still remains a major health concern.

“We have made big improvements in air quality in Glasgow but poor air remains a public health concern and a major social justice issue for the city.

“The forthcoming Low Emission Zone will make significant reductions to air pollution in the city centre. Our LEZ will be the first in the country and will deliver cleaner air for the people of Glasgow.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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