Lydney Air Quality Management Area

Introduction

 
At present Forest of Dean district have one current Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Lydney Town Centre.  In 2008 an assessment (Detailed Assessment Lydney 2008) examined the results of the air quality and recommended that an AQMA be declared.  The monitoring revealed that levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded the annual mean (average level) as specified in the national air quality objectives, with the main source of pollution coming from road traffic.  An Order declaring an AQMA came into effect on the 1st July 2010 within Lydney Town Centre.
 
Monitoring of NO2 using diffusion tubes continues along High Street, Hill Street, Newerne Street and Bream Road.
 
We are working with Gloucestershire County Council to examine ways in which the traffic related air pollution can be mitigated. An action plan will be produced to show how we can reduce concentrations of NO2 in the air.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is Air Quality Management?
Local authorities have a duty under the Environment Act 1995 to review local air quality based on seven key pollutants. Monitored results of any of the pollutants must be evaluated against national air quality objectives, which are defined by statutory legislation.
 
An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is an area that local authorities are obliged to designate, if monitored air pollution exceeds the objectives. Air Quality Management Areas are not unusual - in total, 230 local authorities (May 2010) in the UK have declared AQMAs.
 
Why do we have Air Quality Objectives?
Air quality objectives are set by the National Air Quality Strategy. The main aim is to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy an acceptable level of air quality in public places. The air quality strategy aims to protect health and the environment without imposing unacceptable economic or social costs.
 
What is nitrogen dioxide?
In the UK, approximately 50% of the atmospheric nitrogen dioxide is associated with emissions from motor vehicles and 25% is from power stations. Larger and older vehicles, particularly diesels, produce more nitrogen oxides than newer ‘cleaner’ vehicles. Monitored nitrogen dioxide levels show variation throughout the day, with peak levels coinciding with morning and evening rush hours.
 
Why is nitrogen dioxide a problem?
Nitrogen dioxide is not generally a problem to healthy people unless it is increased to levels rarely seen in the Forest of Dean. However, it can cause problems to sensitive groups such as young children or people with asthma. Those people with respiratory illnesses may also be sensitive to elevated nitrogen dioxide levels.
 
How can we reduce air pollution?
The council undertook a further assessment in June 2011 (12 month after the July 2010 declaration) to identify the main sources of the pollutant and calculate more accurately the improvement in air quality that is needed.
 
The council is currently developing an Air Quality Management Area Action Plan. To do this the council will consult with statutory bodies and other interested parties. The action plan will set out measures to be implemented to improve air quality. The plan is likely to consider road transport emissions through schemes such as travel plans, local air quality strategic planning, promotion of low emission technologies and other local initiatives. These may need to cover a wider geographical area than just the AQMA.  A steering group consisting of representatives from the appropriate council departments, other local authorities, local organisations, councillors will be set up to drive the action plan forward. The action plan will then be implemented over the coming years by the appropriate parties. The action plan will be reviewed and updated as it progresses.
 
How was the Air Quality Management Area Boundary decided?
The minimum criteria that must be met when drawing the AQMA boundary is that it includes those areas where the prescribed Air Quality Objectives are not being met, in locations where members of the public might reasonably be exposed. In the case of the annual objective for nitrogen dioxide, this translates to those locations likely to be above 40μg/m3 where there are sensitive receptors such as residential properties. Aside from this minimum criteria there are no hard or fast rules on where an AQMA boundary can be plotted. The size and shape may vary widely depending on the local circumstances; some authorities have declared several small AQMAs, others one large AQMA, and some have declared their entire council areas as AQMAs.
 
It should also be noted that the AQMA boundary does not represent a distinction between areas of good and poor air quality. The dispersion of pollution is more gradual and doesn’t simply stop at the depicted line. The boundary however represents a focus for the area that the action plan will seek to improve.
 

Lydney Air Quality Action Plan

 
To view further information on Evaluation of Option Measures see the following document:
Lydney Air Quality Management Areas - Evaluation of options
 
 
 
 
 
If you want more general information on the national air quality strategy visit the Defra website.
 
For more information contact the Environmental Protection and Licensing Team on 01594 812429 or email environmental.health@fdean.gov.uk