Nottingham Insight

Air Quality Strategy

Clean air is essential for our good health and wellbeing, and the adverse impact of air pollution on health and the environment are constantly in the news.

The air quality in many of Britain’s cities, towns and neighbourhoods fail to meet the World Health Organization’s air quality guideline values, and fail to meet the UK’s air quality standards and objectives to protect health.

It is estimated that 5.6% of all adult mortality (equivalent to 410 deaths) in Nottinghamshire County, and 5.9% of all adult mortality (equivalent to 127 deaths) in Nottingham City, was attributable to long term exposure to human-made particulate air pollution in 2014.

The Pollutants of concern

The pollutants we are most concerned about are:

  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Fine particulate matter (particles - PM10, PM2.5 and smaller)

NO2 is emitted by high temperature combustion processes such as vehicle and aircraft engines, and commercial and domestic gas boilers.

Particles are emitted during the burning of solid fuels, by diesel engine vehicles, and from mechanical processes e.g. road, tyre and brake pad and brake disc wear.

Fossil fuels (and any carbon containing fuel) emit carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned.

The consensus amongst scientists is that emissions of CO2 are contributing to climate change and increasing average global temperatures, and ocean acidification.

Why do we need an Air Quality Strategy to reduce air pollution?

There are many sources and types of air pollution and it does not respect district, county, national or international boundaries. Joint action is needed at local, regional and national levels if we are to reduce emissions. It is therefore crucial that we all do our bit, and local authorities, and partner organisations provide strong leadership.

Our choices and actions each day contribute to both local air pollution and climate change We are all able, in some way, to reduce, minimise or stop these emissions and improve the quality of the air we all breathe, every minute of every day.

The practicable and practical way to improve air quality for us all is to have a well-publicised and communicated strategy that explains the problem, identifies simple solutions, and encourages and empowers us all to take, often simple, actions to reduce air pollution and our exposure to it.

The Nottinghamshire Air Quality Strategy

The purpose of this strategy is to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing by reducing emissions of, and exposure to, nitrogen dioxide and particles by:-

  • Building upon actions already taken, identifying and implementing existing and new practicable and economic measures and continue to reduce the impact of poor air quality on the health of residents of Nottinghamshire, particularly the most vulnerable
  • Ensuring policies across local authorities in Nottinghamshire reflect the aim of, and will contribute to, improving air quality
  • Strengthening joint working across planning, transport, environmental health and public health to identify and implement opportunities to improve air quality
  • Working in partnership with other organisations, to contribute to local, national and regional air quality policy
  • Working with partners to identify and implement effective communication methods to raise awareness of the adverse health and economic effects of air pollution and promote and effect behavioural change amongst citizens and businesses that reduces emissions and exposure
  • Ensuring that local authorities and partner organisations model, encourage and facilitate structural and behavioural change in business practices and citizens that reduce emissions and air pollution.

The Nottinghamshire Air Quality Strategy will be delivered by a combination of Local Authority specific Air Quality Action Plans, synergy with Transport Strategies and Implementation Plans, Strategic Development Plans and Spatial Strategies, Nottinghamshire’s NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan, and most importantly, the involvement and actions of Nottinghamshire’s citizens and businesses.