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Carnforth Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)


The National Air Quality Strategy for England and Wales has set health-related air quality objectives for eight air pollutants. These objectives have various averaging times and may apply at different locations. For example the annual average objective for the pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide is a concentration in air of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre and this applies only at residential properties.

For seven air pollutants, local authorities must periodically review and assess local air quality to identify any locations where air quality objectives are unlikely to be achieved. An air quality management area (AQMA) must be declared wherever the objectives are unlikely to be achieved by the dates they come into force.

In central Carnforth an Air Quality Management Area has been declared (details below) due primarily to exhaust emissions from road traffic.

Details of Carnforth air quality management area
Declared: July 2007
Extent: Part of central Carnforth centred on the junction between Market Street (West) and the A6. The Order contains a plan and list of road links.
Pollutants: Nitrogen Dioxide - annual average objective only
Sources: Road traffic exhaust emissions

An extended network of nitrogen dioxide monitoring points has been running in Carnforth since 2005.  A Further Assessment technical report was prepared, informing the draft air quality action plan for Carnforth produced in 2010. The key action within the arising plan was the opening of the M6/Heysham link road (the Bay Gateway).


The new road opened in October 2016. In 2017, air quality monitoring in the Carnforth Air Quality Management Area indicated compliance with air quality objectives for the first time since area designation. Monitored levels were however only just below objective levels. We will therefore continue to monitor air quality at Carnforth. A new air quality action plan for the Lancaster district (including Carnforth) will be produced through progress with the Transport Master Plan for Lancaster (available at: ). The new air quality action plan is scheduled to be produced by 2020.

Further detail can be found in the Air Quality Action Planning Update document and in the Annual Status Reports.



Last updated: 05 November 2018

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