Since December 1997 each local authority in the UK has been carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their area. This involves measuring air pollution and trying to predict how it will change in the next few years. The aim of the review is to make sure that the national air quality objectives will be achieved throughout the UK by the relevant deadlines. These objectives have been put in place to protect people's health and the environment. If a local authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an Air Quality Management Area there.
The Borough has two AQMAs:
Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 places a statutory duty on local authorities to review and assess local air quality. In keeping with this, we have submitted detailed historical air quality information reports to DEFRA since 1999.
We produced a further mandatory air quality progress report in 2011 (3 MB) to provide an update on air quality issues in the Borough. It was undertaken in keeping with progress report guidance LAQM.PG(09). As a result, both AQMAs will remain in place. The report considered new monitoring data for nitrogen dioxide from 2010. Assessment of the 2010 dataset showed there were eight diffusion tubes with an annual mean of more than the objective for nitrogen dioxide. However, only site G10 on Gosport Road close to Mill Road Fareham was confirmed as exceeding the annual mean objective at relevant exposure. This was minimal so we proposed to carry out an additional year's monitoring through the 2012 updating and screening assessment (USA 2012).
Redevelopment of the Quay Street roundabout and construction of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system were discussed as actions to help local congestion and emissions.
The air quality action plan (AQAP) implementation group continued to meet and pursue the actions in the plan, including developing the BRT, redeveloping Quay Street roundabout, using a section 106 planning agreement to fund an air quality monitoring in Portland Street, Council staff taking part in the Big Green Commuter Challenge 2011, developing an air quality and health leaflet, buying an electric vehicle for use in the town centre and publishing a cycle map on the Council's website.
In terms of recent planning applications, the Daedalus redevelopment included an air quality assessment as increased traffic movements may result in increased pollution emissions. Reference was also made to Hampshire County Council's local transport plan and its approach to climate change, our environmental sustainability strategy and the new community area to the north of Fareham.
Following DEFRA's comments on the 2010 air quality progress report, we reviewed targets and indicators for existing AQAP measures. This will result in significant revisions to the way many actions will be assessed in subsequent progress reporting years. These new targets and indicators were incorporated in an updated AQAP.
We produced a further mandatory air quality progress report in May 2010 (4 MB) to provide an update on air quality issues in the Borough. It was undertaken in accordance with progress report guidance LAQM.PG (09). As well as considering new monitoring data and development changes since 2009 that may have had an impact on air quality, it provided an update on new planning policies and local transport plan 2006-11(LTP2) measures that may have affected air quality. Our recently approved environmental sustainability strategy was considered and a progress update was provided for all improvement actions in the air quality action plan.
Updated monitoring results for 2009 showed that the NO2 annual mean air quality strategy objective was likely to be exceeded in the AQMAs in Gosport Road and Portland Street so it was agreed that the AQMAs would remain. One site outside the AQMAs also exceeded the AQS objective for NO2 in 2009 but this was a kerbside site so did not represent public exposure.
Among new planned developments in Fareham, the new food retail development at Quay Street and proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system were deemed to have potential impacts on air quality so further monitoring was agreed. The new community area of 10,000 houses planned for the north of Fareham was also deemed to have a limited impact on air quality around the Borough.
As recommended by the updating and screening assessment 2009, a detailed assessment for nitrogen dioxide (10 MB) (NO2) was carried out for Gosport Road Fareham near the junction with Mill Road. It was based on advanced atmospheric dispersion modelling of NOx traffic emissions, relying on updated background pollutant concentrations, monitoring, traffic and meteorological data for 2009. It was undertaken in accordance with the latest guidance methodology and tools released by DEFRA. Its findings were:
Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 places a statutory duty on local authorities to review and assess the air quality within their area and take account of Government guidance in doing so. The updating and screening assessment (4 MB) provides an update on air quality issues. This takes into account revised local air quality management (LAQM) guidance, background concentration maps, updated nitrogen oxides/nitrogen dioxide (NOx/NO2) conversions and updates on specific sources (rail, poultry farms and biomass). It considers seven priority health based air quality objectives and assesses the likelihood that air quality objectives will be met by their target dates. If objectives are unlikely to be met, a detailed assessment will be required.
Having considered each emission source and presented evidence to support this assessment, it concluded that air quality objectives for benzene, 1, 3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, particulates (PM10) and sulphur dioxide would be met. There was no requirement to undertake a detailed assessment for these pollutants.
Updated NO2 monitoring showed that the annual mean air quality strategy (AQS) objective was exceeded at a number of sites in the Borough. However these were either at sites within the air quality management areas declared in Fareham for NO2, or at sites not representative of public exposure. Other monitoring sites nearby were below the objective so did not need a detailed assessment.
We measured an exceedence of the NO2 annual mean AQS objective at a site north of Gosport Road Fareham air quality management area so there would be a detailed assessment by April 2010.
We produced a further mandatory air quality progress report (6 MB) in March 2008 in keeping with progress report guidance LAQM.PRG(03). As well as considered new monitoring data and changes since 2006 that may have had an impact on air quality, it provided an update of new planning policies and any measures in the local transport plan 2006-11(LTP2) that may have an effect. Updated monitoring results for 2007 showed that the NO2 annual mean air quality strategy objective was still likely to be exceeded in the QMAs in Gosport Road and Portland Street so it recommended that the AQMAs should remain. Other sites outside the AQMAs also exceeded the AQS objective for NO2 in 2007 but these were kerbside sites and are not representative of public exposure. As a result, there was no requirement to further extend the AQMAs or declare a new AQMA in 2008. However, we were advised to move remaining kerbside monitoring sites onto properties to monitor NO2 levels. We appreciate residents' co-operation in this.
Among new planned developments in Fareham, the new food retail development at Quay Street was deemed to be significant for potential impacts on air quality. However, an environmental statement completed in 2007 concluded that it would not increase air pollution levels significantly in the AQMAs in Fareham. The new community area of 10,000 houses planned for the north of Fareham must be developed so that it has limited impact on air quality around Fareham.
A joint air quality action plan for the AQMAs in Gosport Road and Portland Street in Fareham was completed in 2008.
Air quality management area (AQMA) 2007 - Portland Street, Fareham
An AQMA for Portland Street, Fareham was declared on 1 December 2007 for nitrogen dioxide from vehicle exhaust emissions.
DEFRA required a further updating and screening assessment (3 MB) by April 2006. We submitted this and these recommendations were approved:
A further stage four reviews and assessment of the AQMA will be undertaken and reported to DEFRA by January 2007. It will set out whether the AQMA is located correctly along with other assessment information
A further detailed assessment of nitrogen dioxide levels for diffusion tubes on Gosport Road, Fareham currently outside the AQMA.
These recommendations were auctioned in 2006 and a combined report (6 MB) was produced in May 2007. This report included the following actions:
A detailed assessment of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in specific areas of concern within the Borough was carried out. It included computerised air pollutant dispersion modelling so that results could be compared against air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide (40ug/m3 were to be achieved by 31 December 2005). Information used for the detailed assessment included:
Hartlands Road, Fareham – results predicted that the annual mean objective will be met
Osborn Road South, Fareham – results predicted that the annual mean objective will be met
Gosport Road, Fareham – measured and predicted levels of nitrogen dioxide showed accidence of the annual mean objective in 2005 (and 2010). The maximum annual NO2 concentrations predicted were confined to the junction of Negate Lane (B3385), Redlands Lane and Gosport Road (A32). The key areas of exposure were confined along the north-west and south-east sections of the junction of the Gosport Road (A32), Negate Lane and Redlands Lane, Fareham. This is a particularly busy road section as Gosport Road is a direct route from Gosport to the M27, leading to Southampton, Portsmouth and beyond.
We sent the detailed assessment report to DEFRA. It approved the installation of a continuous monitor for nitrogen dioxide concentrations on Gosport Road, Fareham for six months. A site was chosen and the equipment was installed at the end of December 2005. Results of this monitoring will be used for further air quality work. DEFRA did not agree to continuous monitoring before we declared an AQMA and asked us to declare one along Gosport Road together with a six month period of continuous monitoring.
The AQMA was declared on 1 April 2006.
In May 2004, we submitted an air quality progress report (740 KB) to DEFRA, using results from an extended nitrogen dioxide survey in the Borough from up to 20 diffusion tubes. It recommended a detailed assessment of air quality was needed in two areas of the Borough - Fareham and Osborn Road South Fareham.
We carried out a further study known as an updating and screening assessment (5 MB) in 2003 for seven air pollutants and results were favourable. Its conclusions were approved by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
In keeping with the Environment Act 1995, we completed a study of air quality in the Borough in 1999. The results suggested that the level of air pollutants were within specified limits and no air quality management areas were declared.