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Air quality news

The latest news relating to air quality in Wiltshire is shown below.

Table of nitrogen dioxide annual mean results

Published 30th April 2019

Attached are the annual mean results for 2018 for diffusion tube network across the county. The results have been bias corrected but one or two may need to be annualised where less than 12 months data is avaialble. This occurs when we move tubes in year (which we try to avoid) or tubes go missing whilst deployed. If a tube repeatedly goes missing, we change the location.

Do you have a location you feel we should monitor?

Published 29th April 2019

We review our diffusion tube monitoring locations each November. We are happy to receive suggestions for monitoring locations from residents, community groups and town/ parish councils. Please contact us via .

If a community group or town/ parish council wish to establish their own diffusion tube monitoring locations we are happy to help with advice and to include the data for publication on this website. The tubes and analysis are relatively inexpensive and there are a number of laboratories that provide them. The laboratory should participate in the WASP which, is basically a quality assurance scheme.  We do observe some rules for where they are located. For example we don't deploy them under road bridges, near loading bays or bus stops. The document that sets out these rules can be found at

but we are happy to give straightforward advice on all of this.

Clean Air Day 21st June 2018

Published 27th April 2018

Clean Air Day is the 21st June this year.

The Clean Air cmapaign is supported by Public Health England, the Environment Agency, the Royal college of Physicians, and many other organisations and Local Authroities.

Their website provides toolkits for schools, communities and other on air quality. If you are interested in running an event in WIltshire you can find out more via the link below:

Please let us know if you plan an event and we will add it to the news feed.

Parliamentary Report on Improving Air Quality

Published 11th April 2018

MP's from four select committees have combined forces to for a joint inquiry on air quality to scrutinise cross-government plans to tackle pollution hotspots.

The report can be accessed at

Report summary:

"Air pollution cuts short an estimated 40,000 lives across the country each year, costing the UK an annual £20 billion.1 Children, the elderly, and those with existing medical conditions are at the greatest risk. The UN special rapporteur recently said he was “alarmed that despite repeated judicial instruction, the UK government continues to flout its duty to ensure adequate air quality and protect the rights to life and health of its citizens. It has violated its obligations”.2 The detrimental effects on air quality from a series of policies by successive governments over many years has led to a number of court cases against the UK Government. There is an urgent need for national leadership and consensus-building to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled.

The Government cannot continue to put public health at risk. It needs to:

  • Place the protection of public health and the environment, rather than technical compliance or political convenience, at the centre of air quality policy.
  • Develop a properly resourced national air quality support scheme available to all local authorities struggling with air pollution.
  • Introduce a Clean Air Act to improve existing legislation and enshrine the right to clean air in UK law.
  • Initiate a national health campaign to highlight the dangers of air pollution, including the fact that air quality can be far worse inside a vehicle than on the street. Regular motorists, children, and vulnerable groups must be informed of these risks. These groups must be provided with accurate, localised air pollution data.
  • Bring forward the date by which manufacturers must end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars, in line with more ambitious commitments from around the world. Manufacturers of private, public and commercial vehicles should also take steps to reduce emissions from tyres and braking mechanisms, known as the ‘Oslo effect’, which is also a significant contributor to poor air quality.
  • Require the automobile industry to contribute to a new clean air fund, following the ‘polluter pays’ principle, on a scale that adequately compensates for the health costs of diesel pollution.
  • Align climate change schemes, urban planning, public transport and fiscal incentives with air quality goals to prevent Government policy from working at cross-purposes."

references quoted:

1. Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Every breath we take, February 2016, p. xiii

2. Baskut Tuncak, statement, September 2017

BBC " So I can breathe Season."

Published 6th March 2017

The BBC are running a short season on Air Quality, exploring some of the ways people are seeking to reduce air pollution and its effects across the world. For thoose who are interested to find out more articles and information can be found on their science and environment page at:

Study links incidents of dementia and living close to heavily trafficked roads

Published 5th January 2017

A study by Canadian researchers has identified a a higher incidence of  dementia amongst those living close to heavily trafficked roads. No association was found with Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. For those who wish to read more about the study the study paper can be found on the Lancets web page at


Diffusion tube network review

Published 8th December 2016

Each year we review our diffusion tube monitoring network. This year we are removing two of the four co-location studies which releases tubes for monitoring at other locations without reducing the number of locations currently monitored. the changes we are making will fill potential gaps in our monitoring data. The new locaions are:

Station Hill & Park Lane Chippenham

Haverlock Court Trowbridge

Pickwick Corsham

Church Lane Laverstock

Melksham A350

2 tubes in Warminster, the locations to be confirmed.


Campaigners have won the latest battle in legal action against the UK Government over levels of air pollution

Published 4th November 2016

A judge at the High Court in London ruled in favour of environmental lawyers ClientEarth. The group called air pollution a "public health crisis" and said the government has failed to tackle it. In the ruling on the 2nd November 2016, Mr Justice Garnham said the 2015 Air Quality Plan (AQP), failed to comply with the Supreme Court judgment and EU directives.

Annual Status Report now available

Published 25th July 2016

Wiltshire Council's fisrt Annual Status Report (ASR) is now available on the reports page of this site. The ASR streamlines and replaces the cycle of annual reports which consisted of an Updating and Screening Assessment, Further Assessment, Detailed Assessment and Progress reports. The report is formated using a standard template produced by DEFRA for all councils to use and is designed to be more accessible and places emphasis on Action Planning.

Warning of possible high levels of air pollution 8th June 2016

Published 8th June 2016

Defra have issued an air quality episode warning across the south west region for the next few days. We are not anticipating any adverse effect in Wiltshire however if you have concerns you can view real time Wiltshire air quality levels on our home page or alternatively you can sign up for text alerts via our "know and respond" page where further advice on levels can be found.

Possible air pollution episode

Published 27th May 2016

Defra have issued an air quality episode warning across the south west region for this weekend. We are not anticipating any adverse effect in Wiltshire however if you have concerns you can view real time Wiltshire air quality levels on our home page or alternatively you can sign up for text alerts via our "know and respond" page where further advice on levels can be found.

Sahara dust

Published 17th December 2015

DEFRA have advised of moderate air pollution is possible across parts of eastern & central England today due to Saharan dust carried on southerly winds. Levels in Wiltshire are expected to be Low.

On Saturday, there is again a risk of areas of moderate air pollution across parts of England and Wales due to further Saharan dust, with low air pollution levels expected elsewhere. On Sunday and Monday, air pollution is expected to return to Low levels across the UK.

DEFRA consultation on changes to annual reporting & technical guidance.

Published 17th December 2015

DEFRA are consulting on revised ways for councils to report their air quality data and they have produced new technical guidance to replace TG(09). The main high lights are:

-Replacement of the different types of report with one "Annual Status Report".(ASR)

- The emphasis of the report shifts from reporting data to actions taken or being undertaken to improve air quality.

- Retension of benzene, 1,3 butadiene, lead and sulphur dioxide within the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) regime although there will no requirement to report on these unless there is an identified issue.

- Alignment of Public Health Outcomes Framework and LAQM with a requirement to consider PM2.5 in consultation with the Director of Public Health.

-A fast track method for adopting Air Quality Management Areas where there is sufficient evidence to support this.

-A template for the ASR to be used by all councils

-A template for Action Plans

Reports are submitted to DEFRA by the 31st April each year, however, this year with the anticipated introduction of an ASR, local councils will have until June to submit.

The consultation runs until the 21st January 2016 and full documents including links tothe PHOF can be found at:



Air Quality Monitoring in Marlborough

Published 17th December 2015

We are pleased to advise the an Osiris particulate monitor is due to be installed in Marlborough shortly. The equipment is currently with the manufacturer for annual servicing and calibration. Arrangements are in hand with Street Services for its installation as soon as it is returned, which is imminent.

There has been speculation around results for the diffusion tube site close to Lloyds Bank. Sites are reviewed annually and this site was a new site addedto the county wide diffusion tube survey for nitrgoen dioxide in January 2015. It is the annual average for nitrogen dioxide that has caused concern in Wiltshire (and generally across the country) and the first year’s results will be reported in the annual report along with all data collected for the year across the county.

Dr Adrian Davis: Essential Evidence on a page: No 141: Transport & Poverty

Published 14th December 2015

Top line: Use of the transport system to meet basic needs should not place undue burden on people in terms of their monetary and time budgets, their physical and mental capabilities, and anxiety levels. Any negative environmental or societal impacts of such a system should be minimal, and should not be unfairly distributed to those worst off. Full article here

Beat the Street films

Published 7th December 2015

Calne and Devizes took part in an innovative community challenge during May and June 2015 to collectively walk and cycle 75,000 miles. An amazing 8339 people took part from the two towns and they managed a staggering 145,000 miles over the six weeks. The project was initiated by the Calne air quality group who wanted to work more closely with schools to reduce to car journeys made to and from school.l Beat te Street has been designed to support healthier lifestyles and empower communities to be more physically active as well as promoting reducing car journeys to improve local air quality.

Two films have been made, one for the Royal Society of Public Health and the second one to demonstrate how the project inspired the communities as a whole to take part. Please do take a look!

Plan to tackle energy challenges

Published 3rd December 2015

An energy resilience plan has been published to tackle a range of challenges faced by the people of Wiltshire.The Wiltshire Council plan, which sets out actions to reduce energy demand, improve affordable warmth, promote sustainable transport and deliver low carbon energy solutions, has involved contributions from a range of stakeholders. Wiltshire businesses, community groups and public sector partners helped to produce the plan, which reflects the breadth of activities going on in the county. Read more here.

Air quality plans 'kick can down the road'

Published 19th November 2015

The CIEH has criticised Defra for its approach to tackling the UK’s air pollution problem despite being in breach of EU limits for years.

In its response to Defra’s consultation on its draft air quality plans, the CIEH warns, the government is failing to address key issues such as attracting commuters off the roads, for example through cutting the price of rail travel, and reversing the trend in the use of diesel cars, that have over recent years out-paced the sale of petrol cars.

Read the article in Environmental Health News

EPUK and IAQM Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality

Published 6th October 2015

The new guidance places emphasis on incorporating the principle of “better by design” into all new developments.  It incorporates a new two-stage approach to determining when an air quality assessment is required and notes that the air quality assessment required may be ‘simple’ or ‘detailed’.  New definitions for impact descriptors and advice on determining the significance of the air quality impact of a development are included.

Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning for Air Quality guidance document

Consultation on the extension to Wilton Rd, Salibury, air quality management area (2015)

Published 14th September 2015

Attached is the proposed extension to the Salisbury, air quality management area along Wilton Road.  If you have any comments please send them to:

Air Quality Action Plan for Wiltshire

Published 12th August 2015

The draft Air Quality Action Plan has been added to the reports page. The plan has been submitted DEFRA for approval, following preliminary consultation with them and the public consultation.

Changes to Nitrogen Dioxide & particulate monitoring around Wiltshire

Published 12th August 2015

We have recently moved a real time nitrogen dioxide monitor to Royal Wootton Bassett High Street for 6 months. The real time analyser is linked to this website and information on nitrogen dioxide levels in the High Street can be downloaded. The site also links to the 'Know and Respond' for those wishing to receive alerts of episodes of poor air quality.

We are looking for a monitoring location for a diffusion tube on the High Street in Cricklade to assess nitrogen dioxide levels. If there are any residents willing to host a small diffusion tube on a rainwater down pipe or similar location, please contact us.

We are also looking for a monitoring location in the vicinity of Herd Street in Marlborough to host our larger real time monitoring equipment. The unit requires power and has normally been linked to a street light, however we have not been able to secure a location that is practical due to the steep hill side and narrow pavement. If someone has a suitable location, please contact us.

Our Osiris fine particulate monitor has been offline for servicing and will be relocated back to New Road Calne; Results can be viewed via this website.

Our real time analyser at Salisbury, Devizes and Bradford on Avon analyser continue to run and link to our 'Know and Respond' service. If individuals wish to receive text alerts of incidents of poor air quality please sign up via the link on our front page.

Wiltshire Annual Report to DEFRA published

Published 17th July 2015


The Annual report to DEFRA has been published onthe reports page. This year's report is an Updating and Screening Assessment has a wider scope than an annual progress report. It details the results of the diffusion tube survey for 2014 and the results from the real time monitoring stations. The report is currentyl in draft form and has been submitted to DEFRA for approval.

Elevated pollution levels expected on Friday 10th April 2015

Published 9th April 2015

Defra: Levels of air pollution are forecast to become 'High' in many areas of central, eastern and northern England, with locally 'Very High' levels forecast for a time in the far southeast of England. This is due to a combination of pollutants trapped near the ground, a light southeasterly flow bringing additional pollutants from the continent and, in addition, a small amount of Saharan dust in the air. Across the rest of the United Kingdom, levels of air pollution are expected to be mainly 'Moderate'.


An example of good practice - Public health and transport collaboration in Wiltshire

Published 26th February 2015

An England-wide survey commissioned by the Passenger Transport Executive Group has found strong evidence of collaboration between public health and transport teams in local government. Conducted by public health and transport expert Dr Adrian Davis, the survey and follow-up case studies, sought to explore the extent of collaboration since the move as well as identify examples of good practice and any barriers to joint working. The findings include a case study of the work we have been doing at Wiltshire Council on air quality and have been published in a new report, ‘A Healthy Relationship: Public health and transport collaboration in local government.’ The report highlights the way in which we have put public health at the core of Wiltshire Council business and our partnership working on air quality. To read the report visit: