NATIONAL air quality targets are now being met in two parts of Glasgow which have had high levels of pollution.

Recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide at Parkhead Cross are now consistently meeting Scottish air quality objectives.

This means the air quality management area – required by law when air quality objectives are not being reached – can be revoked.

There have also been sustained improvements in the levels of particulate matter in the Byres Road/Dumbarton Road management area, meaning the pollutant can be removed from the order.

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Nitrogen dioxide levels are also now within the objectives but need to remain in line for at least three years before that management area can be fully revoked.

Councillor Anna Richardson, convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Air pollution impacts negatively on human health; particularly so for the very young, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions so I’m naturally delighted to see such positive progress and the clear inference that air quality is improving in our city”, she said.

“We’re determined to clean up Glasgow’s air and we’ll continue to build on this progress with policies and projects that further our objectives to do just that.”

The main source of air pollution within the city is road traffic. Nitrogen dioxide is attributed to traffic volume and engine types, with diesel engines emitting more than petrol engines.

A city centre management area, declared in 2002, is still in place, a city-wide management area was revoked in 2016.

When air quality management areas are required, councils must implement an action plan aimed at reducing levels of the pollutant.

Glasgow’s air quality action plan, which will be refreshed this year, includes actions such as idling enforcement, vehicle emissions testing and initiatives towards cleaner vehicles.

A council report states: “Air quality in Glasgow continues to improve, with the vast majority of the city meeting all air quality targets.

“However, there remain areas of the city centre where the canyon effect of the built environment (high rise buildings on narrow streets), combined with the volume of predominantly diesel-powered traffic, results in unsatisfactory air quality.”

The city’s Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) also aims to “accelerate the pace of improvement” in air quality.

When fully implemented, all vehicles entering the zone will have to meet specific exhaust emission standards. It is being phased in and began with service buses.

Work was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has now resumed.

The impact of the lockdown on air quality and “resultant dramatic effects” on traffic and pollution levels were outwith the scope of this year’s progress report.

Analysis has been conducted in partnership with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and will form part of 2021’s report.