Air quality - latest news
Air quality - latest news
Hot topics on air quality
|2012 USA Report now available||The 2012 Updating and Screening Assessment Report on air quality within the Borough is now available. The report looks at new and changed sources of air pollution to identify those that may cause levels of pollution to exceed government standards. Results from monitoring within the Borough are presented for 2011 as well.|
Residents may prefer to read a short summary of the 2011 air pollution levels that is also available.
|London Low Emission Zone - tighter standards from January 2012||The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) applies to diesel lorries, buses, coaches, motor caravans, motorised horseboxes, large vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles. Cars and motorcycles are not affected. If your vehicle does not meet certain emissions standards you'll need to pay a daily charge to drive within the LEZ. From 3 January 2012 the standards are changing and more vehicles will be affected.|
The European Union sets limits, known as Euro Standards, on the amount of pollution emitted by a vehicle's exhaust. Your vehicle will need to meet the Euro 4 standard for particulate matter from 3 January 2012. You can use the age and weight of your vehicle as indicators. Transport for London (Tfl) have prepared a leaflet explaining the changes or you can visit their website or call 0845 607 0009.
Remember, the LEZ is not the same as the central London Congestion Charging Zone. The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year and covers most of Greater London. The M25 motorway is not included in the LEZ.
|Impact of Fireworks Night on Air Quality||Smoke from fireworks and bonfires can cause Guy Fawkes to be the most polluted night of the year. This year the 5th November was a Saturday, so many organised displays took part on that night, with the potential to concentrate the effects on air quality. King's College London Environmental Research Group (who operate and management air quality monitoring stations across London and the South East on behalf of some Councils) have done a review of air quality on the evening of 5th November 2011. This year damp and breezy weather in southern England meant smoke was rapidly dispersed and air pollution remained 'low'. The notable exception to this was in Lewes, East Sussex on the south coast were air pollution in the town centre reached 'moderate'.|
Their website has more information about the health effects of fireworks, including a video.
|Heathrow Operational Trial||On 1 November 2011, a three month trial started at Heathrow of new procedures for using the runways and the airspace around the airport in a more efficient and flexible way. This trial will not mean an increase in the number of flights operating in to or out of Heathrow.|
The procedures being used during the trial are not the same as 'Mixed Mode'. Mixed Mode involves the planned use of both runways for simultaneous take offs and arrivals and would increase the number of flights into and out of the airport. The trial will involve using one runway for both arrivals and departures, but the other runway will be only for arrivals or departures. It will only happen when certain triggers are met with aircraft delay, strong winds or following airport disruption (such as snow).
Possible impacts and benefits to local communities include:
Heathrow has a dedicated team that will answer your specific queries regarding aircraft noise - please contact 0800 344844 or e-mail email@example.com. More information on the details of the trial, including a video, and questions and answers is available.
|Icelandic Volcano Ash grounds planes at Heathrow||We have been asked whether we will be doing extra monitoring during this period to assess the effect of the airport on local air quality.|
Find out more on air quality monitoring during this period, the contribution of airport emissions to local air quality concentrations and for health advice in connection with the ash in our Special Briefing Note .
|Following the revamp of our air quality web pages in Summer 2008, we have been placed 15th in a survey of over 450 councils (across England, Wales and Scotland). We are the highest placed council in Surrey.|
The survey was undertaken by an air quality magazine, Air Quality Bulletin. The survey scored websites on the quality of information and presentation together with how easy it is to find the air quality pages from the Council's home page. Spelthorne scored 4 out of 5 for both quality and findability.
The survey drew particular attention to our air quality front page for clear symbols and focusing in on the key issues for residents and consultants. The reviewers also liked the latest news section to keep residents up to date with air quality news in the Borough. We already have some more ideas about how to continue improving our website for both residents and professionals.
The survey also scored the Heathrow Airwatch website well for presentation, content, helpfulness and links to other sources of information. This follows a relaunch of the site in spring 2008. Airwatch was ranked 18th out of 64 non-council air quality websites reviewed. It provides information on air quality across Heathrow and surrounding areas, cutting across four separate Council areas. The site has been funded by a joint working partnership between us and the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow, and Slough Borough Council, BAA Heathrow and British Airways.
|London low emission zone||The low emission zone (LEZ) was introduced in a bid to improve London's air quality. It covers all of the London boroughs and applies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.|
The full London LEZ will be introduced in a phased approach from 4 February 2008 through to January 2012. Different vehicles will be affected over time and increasingly tougher emissions standards will apply.
Although Spelthorne itself is not affected, neighbouring areas will be, including Heathrow, Feltham, and Bedfont.
What vehicles are affected?
How will it affect me?
The LEZ is clearly identifiable by:
For further information