5 steps to improve air quality in Elmbridge
Air pollution impacts us all and it's estimated that it shortens the life of many people in the UK. It particularly affects the most vulnerable in our society, such as children and older people and those with heart and lung conditions.
The main pollutants in Elmbridge are the same for the country as a whole, oxides of Nitrogen (Nox) and particulate (PM10 and 2.5).
Unsurprisingly motor vehicles are a significant source of Nox, with diesel vehicles being a source of harmful particulates.
For your part you can:
turn off your engine at red lights or in heavy traffic to reduce your emissions. Most modern cars have “stop start” systems that do this for you
decide to leave your car at home and walk or cycle
consider when you change your vehicle choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle
Air Quality Action Plan
As part of our commitment to improving air quality in Elmbridge, we have produced an Air Quality Action Plan 2021-26 (AQAP) detailing how we aim to improve air quality in Elmbridge over the next five years.
Open fires or wood burning stoves
Additionally, smoke from open fires or wood burning stoves can have a negative effect on air quality particularly increasing harmful particulates levels.
To help to reduce the harmful effects from smoke follow this guide on open fires and wood-burning stoves.
Air quality measurements
Key air quality measurements are taken in Elmbridge. The average monthly level of nitrogen dioxide (mainly emitted from vehicle exhausts) is measured by a number of passive diffusion tubes situated across the borough. These are mostly located within the borough's six Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). For details on the AQMAs see the latest Annual Status Report (ASR) below.
On 28 October 2020, it was determined that nitrogen dioxide levels in Cobham High Street has improved which has led to the removal of the High Street's AQMA. Full details on this are contained within the 2020 ASR. Residents should be reassured that we will continue to monitor air quality in that area for the next two years.
There are also two monitoring stations where you can see current pollution levels at Hampton Court Parade, East Molesey and Weybridge High Street. To view current levels see the UK Air Quality website, select 'dynamic tables' then select either of the monitors listed above for detailed information.
ASRs for the following years giving details on our monitoring results for the previous year, actions and priorities:
Why not sign-up for free air pollution alerts.