Vale of White Horse District Council
As a local authority our responsibilities relating to air quality management come from legislation laid out in the UK Air Quality Strategy.
There are currently three air quality management area’s (AQMA’s) designated within the Vale of White Horse. These are areas where the levels of pollutants in the air have reached those identified by the government as harmful to health and are in breach of what is called the ‘national air quality objectives’.
Our Turn it Off Campaign
We’ve launched a new campaign, supported by Public Health England, to help improve local air quality across Vale of White Horse by asking drivers to turn off their engines when they are not driving.
Keeping the engine running – known as idling - while parked at the side of the road, sitting in traffic, or waiting to collect someone, contributes to an increase in levels of air pollutants.
The aim of our campaign is to encourage people to think about idling and if they are stopped for more than a minute or parked then they should turn their engines off.
For more information on this project, please visit the campaign website: www.southandvale.gov.uk/turnitoff.
Air pollution levels have been monitored in Abingdon since 1995 and due to levels of NO2 exceeding the national air quality objectives, an AQMA was declared in 2006.
The air pollution problem in Abingdon is not unlike many others across the country in that it comprises a busy road network and relatively narrow streets which serve to prevent the dispersion of pollutants therefore trapping the pollution at street level.
Air pollution here has also been monitored since 1995. An AQMA was declared in 2008 again as a result of NO2 levels exceeding the national objectives.
The air pollution problem in Botley is attributed to the volume of traffic on the A34. Air pollution levels are high where there are houses close to the A34.
Air pollution monitoring in Marcham commenced in 2009 with an AQMA designated in 2015 due to NO2 exceedences.
The air pollution problem in Marcham is due to the volume of traffic on the A415 which passes through Marcham, congestion caused by the narrowness of the roads and the fact that some houses are very close to the road.
In order to improve air quality both within these areas and in the district as a whole, we have produced an Air Quality Action Plan. This provides the mechanism by which local authorities in collaboration with national agencies and others, state their intentions for bringing about air quality improvements.
Vale of White Horse has produced a Developer Guidance document in fulfilment of one of the action plan measures. This guidance aids developers and planners alike in assessing the air quality impacts of a development and any associated mitigation that may be required to help offset the effects of a given development. Ultimately it aims to achieve sustainable development in the district that achieves the best balance of social, economic and environmental considerations.
Updating & Screening Assessment 2015
Other useful information
Monthly Monitoring Data reports - Air Quality England
Defra's guidance on how to reduce the environmental and health impacts of using wood burning stoves or open fires. Further information can be found here.