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

Details of Lancaster air quality management area
Extent: Parts of central Lancaster alongside three interconnecting gyratory roads – see a map view or the original Order with a plan and list of road links
Pollutant(s): Nitrogen Dioxide  - annual average and 1 hour objectives only.
Sources: Road traffic exhaust emissions
Progress: An extended network of nitrogen dioxide measurement points was established (running since 2004).
 A Further Assessment (PDF, 3MB) technical report was prepared and published.
The council worked with other agencies to produce an Air Quality Action Plan for Lancaster (PDF, 709KB) and this was approved in September 2007.


Lancaster Air Quality Action Plan
Status: Interim action plan published (longer-term plan under preparation)

The interim air quality action plan for Lancaster (PDF, 709KB) was approved by the council's Cabinet meeting on 4th September 2007.
This was an interim air quality action plan containing 21 actions, primarily 'enabling' measures.

Air quality monitoring in Lancaster indicates that although pollution levels are declining, levels are still well above air quality objective levels at certain positions around the gyratory system and therefore a new district air quality action plan is being produced. As transport is the main pollution source the production of a new air quality action plan has been brought under the delivery of the Transport Master Plan for Lancaster (available at : ).

A new assessed plan is due to be adopted by 2020 although some elements will be delivered in the intervening period.


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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