Croy seeing a major drop in air pollution

An improvement in the air quality in Croy has been linked to the reduction in quarrying in the nearby area. Copyright Texas Radio and The Big Beat and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
An improvement in the air quality in Croy has been linked to the reduction in quarrying in the nearby area. Copyright Texas Radio and The Big Beat and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Croy is set to have its status as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) revoked next year.

The village along with Motherwell town centre, Chapelhall and Coatbridge (including Whifflet, Shawhead and Kirkshaws) are all currently designated as having excess levels of particulate air pollution.

However, unlike the other three whose problems with air quality are primarily beingcaused by road traffic emissions, in Croy it became an AQMA in relation to the adjacent quarry.

Levels have continued to drop over the last five years to such that air pollution in Croy has now fallen below the AQMA threshold.

Councillors met to discuss air pollution at a meeting of the Infrastructure Committee last week.

A report from Andrew McPherson, head of Regulatory Services & Waste Solutions, said: “Although the three AQMAs (in Motherwell, Chapelhall and Coatbridge) will be retained, it would be the intention to revoke the current AQMA within Croy.

“The cause of this AQMA was the works undertaken within a nearby quarry which generated large amounts of particulate matter.

“However due to the levels of activity within the quarry significantly reducing over the last five years the levels of pollution are now at a level that would not justify the continued designation of an AQMA.

“This work will commence in 2019 and if agreed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency will represent the third AQMA revoked by the council – Harthill and Moodiesburn being the previous two.”

Councillors also agreed a 22-point action plan to run from 2018-21 to reduce air pollution across North Lanarkshire, incorporating recommendations from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Key priorities in the plan are for the council to lead by example by improving engine emissions in its own fleet of vehicles and those of partner agencies; working with bus operators to improve service infrastructure and reducing pollution from buses including school buses; considering air quality impact with regard to all relevant planning applications, and promoting the use of public transport, walking and cycling over private vehicles.

Mc McPherson’s report said: “As it is felt that the AQMA for Croy is likely to be revoked at some point during the lifetime of this action plan measures specific to this AQMA have not been included.

“Clearly though, the broad-based, council-wide measures that are contained within the action plan will also benefit air quality within the Croy AQMA.”