Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glasgow Council Elections 2012 - Public Transport & Air Quality

A recent article (here) reported on the significant decline in bus journeys over the past year. The overall decline in Scotland was 6% fewer journeys, with 12% in Strathclyde and South West Scotland. Air pollution caused by traffic is also a problem as noted in this Herald article and Katkin's Blog.

One of the worst areas for air quality is around Hope Street and Renfield Street: the streets where almost all bus routes cut through the city centre which could lead to the conclusion that buses are the cause of the high level of pollutants.  However, elevated levels of pollution are found throughout the city and the high peak on these particularly busy streets would be similar if cars were sitting there instead of buses.  Allowing the buses to traverse this area more quickly will help and this could be facilitated by enforcing bus lane restrictions (i.e. only allowing buses, taxis and cyclists to use them).  Rather cynically, the Labour Party controlled council has chosen this week to begin enforcement of bus lanes that have been abused for several years.  Those supporting better public transport will look forward to improved services while those flouting the rules will not recieve their penalty notice until after the election...

So what policies do the parties propose to improve mobility around the city and improve the air quality?

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