More than half of Tele readers believe a proposal to ban polluting vehicles in the city centre should not be imposed despite calls from experts to expand the scheme and include Lochee Road in the plan.
Just over 58% of 920 readers who took our online poll believe the city should not introduce a Low Emission Zone (LEZ). The Scottish Government wants to see one in Dundee by 2020.
In plans set to be discussed at council tonight, officers hope to make the area within the Marketgait ring-road off-limits to older vehicles, likely pre-2005 petrols and diesels more than four years old.
However, responding to a poll on the Tele’s website, some readers made clear they saw the plan as damaging for the city centre.
Yvonne Isaacs, who says she has a long-term health condition requiring her to drive, has fears over her ability to get to work in the city centre.
She added: “I am not entitled to any benefits so I am not going to be able to afford an electric vehicle.”
Liam Richardson said a ban on old cars would “kill the city centre”.
Some, such as Maurice Mo Bann and Jim McFarlane, say the plans should be supported by other measures to encourage people to leave the car outside the LEZ, such as free bus travel or a park and ride facility.
Others, such as Iain Ferguson, are willing to make the compromise. He said: “Cleaner air in exchange for personal convenience is something we have to accept and adapt to.”
Critics of the proposed LEZ say it does not go far enough to protect environmental and public health.
The exclusion of Lochee Road, one of Scotland’s most polluted streets, was branded “laughable” by Friends of the Earth Scotland.
West End councillor Richard McCready criticised the reasoning behind the decision – because the road was used by too many cars.
He said: “It’s surprising the SNP council isn’t being ambitious with its own party’s policy. If you’re going to tackle air pollution you need to take action that makes a difference in Lochee Road, in the Seagate, in the Marketgait and as far as Forfar Road.
“Officers will point to improvements (in air quality in the city centre) but it’s still not enough.”
Before the summer, Mr McCready challenged officers to provide a report on other measures the council is taking to tackle air pollution. It is yet to be presented to councillors.
He added: “I want to see action that improves air quality for people – and that includes on Lochee Road.”