Campaigners urge councillors to reject new supermarket on Scotland's most polluted road
Edinburgh’s St John’s Road has won the unenviable title of Scotland’s most polluted street.
And the Costorphine road, which is one of the main entry points into the city form Glasagow and the west, is set to become considerably worse if councillors rubber stamp approval for a new supermarket.
New official figures for the first half of 2015 show that air pollution levels on the busy urban road have dramatically worsened since this time last year.
St John’s Road pollution zone is one of five areas in the city where pollution levels regularly break statutory standards.
Now environmentalists are backing a campaign against the supermarket being built claiming it will cause uncontrollable levels of pollution in an area already suffering disproportionately from carbon emissions.
Council bosses are expected to determine a planning application for the giant store next week (21 October) complete with car park on the corner of St John’s and Manse Road, in the heart of the pollution zone.
Estimates show the store would lead to 3,000 extra car journeys a day.
Over 400 people objected to the proposal due to concerns over increased congestion, air pollution, and safety hazards to schoolchildren walking past the site on their way to Corstorphine Primary School.
For the sake of people’s health, St John’s Road needs a transport transformation - Emilia Hannah
Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna said: “Air pollution has been linked with asthma attacks, strokes, heart attacks, and cancers. It can lead to children’s lungs not growing to their full potential.
"School children would have to walk in front of the proposed car park entrance each day on their way to Corstorphine Primary School, if it were to go ahead.
“For the sake of people’s health, St John’s Road needs a transport transformation. Priority should be given to walkers, cyclists and public transport users, and car use should be restricted through a Low Emission Zone, which would require vehicles to meet cleaner emission standards or pay a fine.
"This would create a cleaner, safer, and more attractive environment where everyone could breathe clean air.”
Local resident Becky Lloyd, who heads up the Corstorphine Residents Action & Information Group and is a mother of two said: “These new pollution figures only go to show how critical the committee meeting decision on 21st October will be.
“There is no denying the fact that this supermarket development from the Birmingham-based developers will cause even more congestion and pollution on Edinburgh’s most polluted street.
“Buried in the developer’s own figures is the true picture: an estimated 22,000 car trips in and out of the supermarket every week, with up to 70% of this new, rather than passing traffic.
“Corstorphine is saturated with supermarkets and there is no demand or need for another one."