Air quality

We monitor air quality at a number of locations across Leicester through a network of five air quality stations.

Further information

How we manage air quality

All local authorities are required to undertake a review and assessment of local air quality to identify whether the air quality objectives for certain key pollutants are being met. Where objectives are not being met, the local authority is required to develop an action plan to achieve progress towards meeting the targets.

The pollutant objectives are set at levels low enough to make adverse health effects unlikely even for vulnerable groups such as children, elderly and those already affected by respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Air quality action plan

On 26 November 2015, full council approved the 2015-2026 Air Quality Action Plan. 

Review and assessment process

During 2000, we completed a three stage review and assessment process, using detailed monitoring and forecast modelling up to 2005. The process identified that Government air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide, would not be met in some parts of Leicester by the end of 2005. Nitrogen dioxide is one of the main pollutants coming from road traffic. In places where high levels of nitrogen dioxide were expected, an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was declared.

Monitoring in Leicester

Air Quality Management Area

The Environment Act 1995 requires all local authorities to regularly review and assess local air quality. Where exceeding air quality targets is considered likely, the local authority must then declare an AQMA and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place to improve air quality.

Our monitoring stations

Leicester meets all current national air quality objectives except for the annual mean for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) within our designated AQMA (see map linked above). We currently run five fixed automatic monitoring stations measuring pollutants: Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Particulate Matter 10 (PM10).

Site name Site type Pollutants monitored
Abbey Lane Roadside N02
PM10
Glenhills Way Roadside N02
PM10
Melton Road Roadside N02
PM10
St Matthews Way Roadside N02
Vaughan Way Roadside N02
PM10

Since 2011 there has been a gradual overall improvement in NO2 levels with only Glenhills Way not showing a general drop in NO2. Although Leicester does not currently meet the air quality objective, this current trend, together with actions in the Leicester Air Quality Action Plan (linked at the bottom of this page), should enable the city to meet the target by 2020 as predicted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Historic Nitrogen Dioxide and PM10 information: data archive

You can find our air quality monitoring data that we produce to comply with local national standards at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions regarding air quality in Leicester please email us.

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