Anil Namdeo
April 2021

Air quality management in the UK: What's the hold up?

Millions of people in the UK live in areas where levels of pollution are very high and could be damaging their health. In 2019, NO2 legal limits were breached in 75% of air quality reporting zones (33 out of 43). Likewise, in 2018, 115 out of 317 local authorities (36%) had unsafe levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). After more than 20 years of the review and assessment process by local authorities across the UK, >650 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) have been declared predominantly for NO2 (annual mean) and primarily due to road traffic sources (>90%). While local authorities have been very good at diagnosing air quality problems and identifying AQMAs, they have struggled to implement action to improve local air quality.

This webinar looked at the factors that are contributing to this failure to meet the air quality objectives. It identified the bottlenecks which can be overcome; the disconnection between local and national policies; and the key players that could be involved to explore and target polluting behaviours and overcome barriers.