The Council monitors air quality within West Berkshire. The principal source of air pollution in West Berkshire is exhaust emissions from road traffic.
Under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, Councils are required to conduct local air quality reviews. If any standards are being exceeded or are unlikely to be met by the required date that area should be designated an Air Quality Management Area and the Council must draw up and implement an Action Plan aimed at reducing levels of the pollutant. Councils are required to make copies of their reviews and assessments of local air quality available to the public. Please find all our reports to date on the right hand side.
The Council is required to produce an annual Progress Report and every three years an Updating, Screening and Assessment (USA) report. A USA report may require a Detailed Assessment report. In many areas, traffic is likely to be the main contributor to excessive levels of pollution.
National air quality objectives have been designated for priority pollutants - benzene, 1,3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particles (PM10), sulphur dioxide, ozone and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons. These have been set on the basis of scientific and medical evidence on the health effects of each pollutant, and according to the practicability of meeting standards. All of these standards except those for ozone and PAH are subject to regulations(Air Quality Standards Regulations 2007) made under the Environment Act 1995. Target achievement dates range from 2003 to 2010.
In West Berkshire all the air quality objectives are being met except for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on some busy roads and intersections.
An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)was declared for the A339, A343 and Greenham Road, Newbury in May 2009 and a second AQMA was declared in November 2011 for the A4 in Thatcham from the junction of Harts Hill Road to the junction with The Broadway.
We have recently expanded our monitoring programme, following the conclusions of the Updating and Screening Assessment 2009, in Newbury, Pangbourne, Thatcham and Tidmarsh.
If you have any ideas as to how to cut NO2 levels in West Berkshire, we would be pleased to hear from you.