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Monitoring of air pollution

We monitor air quality to comply with our legal responsibility as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). By monitoring air pollutants around the borough we can assess our compliance with the air quality objectives and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and projects. This can be used to help provide information and alerts for residents, workers and visitors when pollution levels are elevated.

Monitoring also provides highly detailed information on long-term trends in air pollution levels. Sharing air quality data beyond our borough is an important contribution to identifying national and regional trends.

The world of air quality monitoring is constantly changing, with new initiatives, new focuses and improved science. Keeping up to date with changes in technology and current thinking around health impacts is vital; it gives us opportunities to review monitoring and techniques that may improve the delivery, impact of air pollution and performance of services.

The move towards smarter modern cities also provides a great opportunity to use the power of personal mobile technology; to inform and influence behaviour around pollution hot spots and during episodes of poor air quality, as well as providing accurate, up-to-date information.

Summary of actions

  • Maintain our extensive monitoring regime in the borough
  • Present quarterly updates through the air quality action plan in a simple to use format which helps to promote transparency
  • Continuously review and improve the Air Quality Network throughout the borough
  • Positively encourage and support citizen science activities where these actively contribute to identifying and tackling air pollution in the borough, including the provision of diffusion tubes and hand held monitors
  • Roll out monitoring to schools in areas of high pollution
  • Invest in new monitoring equipment as new technology moves forward. This could enhance the diffusion tube network with real time data

Useful resources

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) are places or areas that a local authority predicts are unlikely to meet the national air quality objectives.

London Air - Imperial College London access data from our automatic air quality stations, which you can view as a map or graph via their website or the LondonAir App. The data (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, PM2.5 and PM10) are downloaded every hour with access to recent and historical data, as well as predictions for the immediate future.

UK AIR for Richmond upon Thames – Provides an air quality forecast (based on five key pollutants: ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, PM2.5 and PM10) for five days from the current date. If the map does not display initially, press the search button next to Richmond or enter your postcode.

Air Quality in South London – Pages hosted by a consortium of boroughs which includes Richmond. Content includes information about air pollution and ways that you can tackle it, links to resources and an air quality map for nitrogen dioxide.

Appendices

Progress matrix
Action Current status Timeframe Target Comments

Maintain our extensive monitoring regime in the borough

In progress Ongoing 64 monitoring stations  

Present quarterly updates through the air quality action plan in simple to use format and ensure complete transparency

In progress Ongoing 4 reports per year These are interim reports containing raw data and will be ratified and bias-adjusted once December results are available and audits are complete - around March annually. Results are available from online reports

Continuous review and improvement of the Air Quality Network throughout the borough

In progress Ongoing 1 review per year Review is carried out in December of each year; new sites commence in January. Suggestions for new site always welcome - email an Air Quality Officer

Positively encourage and support citizen science activities where these actively contribute to identifying and tackling air pollution in the borough. Including the provision of diffusion tubes and handheld monitoring

In progress Ongoing Support 4 projects including up to 100 diffusion tubes for locations Projects supported during 2020 include Burtons Road, Hampton Hill LTN; East Sheen LTN, Royal Parks and displacement traffic in surrounding areas, additional monitoring of White Hart Lane level crossing and Mortlake High Street

Roll out monitoring to schools in the borough to provide information

In progress Ongoing Up to 20 monitoring sites (max of 12 per annum) Forced to pause during lockdown. one month's monitoring available to all schools; email an Air Quality Officer

Invest in new monitoring equipment as new technology moves forward. This could see enhancement to the diffusion tube network and help provide real time data

In progress Ongoing 1 or 2 new monitors per year tested, depending on quality Various products under consideration

Updated: 23 December 2020