A new survey of the measures taken by local authorities to tackle pollution has revealed the top council areas for clean air in Scotland.  

The comprehensive audit of steps taken to curb air-borne pollutants found that Aberdeen, Fife and West Dunbartonshire were the top three locations in the country for addressing air quality. 

Despite infamously having the most polluted street in Scotland in recent years, Glasgow was ranked above a host of other local authorities, based on the strength of the council’s response to tackling the issue.  

Angus, on the east coast, was given the poorest rating by the survey, which gave local authorities a score out of 100 based on a range of measures. 

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These included the strength of its air quality action plan, robust public transport systems, education programs, and steps taken to regulate emissions from construction and waste management sites. 

The comprehensive audit was been undertaken by data analysts Enjoy the Air, and is based on the most recent statistics.  

Aberdeen City was placed in top spot, with a score of 77 for its environmental commitments. The city was commended for its robust traffic management plans to promote sustainable travel and for pioneering the transition to sustainable maritime fuels. 


Aberdeen Harbour 

Aberdeen was also credited for the range of methods it has deployed across the region to increase awareness about air pollution within the local community. 

Despite having some of the worst air pollution in the country, Glasgow, with a score of 67, was ranked slightly higher than Edinburgh, which scored 64.  

This was due to its efforts to control dust and emissions at construction sites and the conversion of the Council’s heavy fleet to low emissions. 

The local authority has is also planning to introduce a Low Emission Zone in June this year, covering the city centre. 

Previously, Hope Street was judged to be the most polluted in Scotland due to the volume of heavy traffic and exhaust fumes.  

Scotland has some of the strongest air pollution targets across the EU, and ranks among the least polluted within the United Kingdom.  

However, the data shines a light on the action still required to mitigate health issues caused by air pollution, which causes up to 3,500 premature deaths in Scotland each year. 

Angus (37), East Dunbartonshire (54) and East Lothian (55) were amongst the lowest scoring locations, due to their lack of mobile and stationary air pollution monitors and up to date air quality action plans. 


Glaswegians enjoy the fresh air 

Kate Barnard, Founder and CEO of Enjoy the Air, said: “Scotland is undoubtedly a leader in air pollution action and cities across the country are putting robust plans in place to mitigate the devastating health impact of dirty air. However, our analysis has revealed the key areas for improvement that must be undertaken to prevent long term health effects and even unnecessary deaths. 

 “By joining up council policy with local transport strategies and healthcare systems, Scotland can continue to lead the nation in air quality action.” 

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Jackie Dunbar, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside, added: "The air we breathe is fundamental to every aspect of our lives so tackling the polluting problems impacting its quality is vital. 

"It is brilliant to see Aberdeen leading the way in addressing these challenges and recognised for the range of methods it has deployed to increase awareness within the local community. I very much welcome the improvements that we are seeing in air quality over the recent years but there is undoubtedly more we can, and must, do. 

 “The Scottish Government's Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy sets out an ambitious programme of action to promote air quality and, in addition to this, we have some of the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world - all helping us build a more sustainable, green economy for Scotland as we head for net zero by 2045."