Air quality - latest news


2017 ASR Report available - July 2017
London LEZ: tighter standards from January 2012
Fireworks and Air Quality - November 2011

2017 ASR  Report now availableThe 2017 Annual Status Report is now available. The report reviews monitoring data for 2016 and over a 5 year period. The report has been submitted to Defra and is pending approval.  

Residents may prefer to read a short summary of the 2016 air pollution levels that is also available.

London Low Emission Zone - tighter standards from January 2012The 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 QualitySmoke from fireworks and bonfires can cause Guy Fawkes to be the most polluted night of the year. This year the 5 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 5 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.