Defra uses both monitoring and modelling to assess air quality in the UK. Currently, 156 monitoring stations in the national network report near-real-time data on five key pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Information about these sites and modelled data is available on Defra’s UK-Air website.
Latest compliance data show that the UK is meeting the EU limit values for all pollutants covered by the European air quality Directives other than those for NO2.
That is why in December last year, the Government published the national air quality plan for reducing NO2 concentrations through a new programme of Clean Air Zones in five cities in England, including Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton, as well as Birmingham and Derby, along with the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London. The plan combines targeted local and national measures and continued investment in clean technologies.
The councils which were observed to have exceedances of the annual mean NO2 limit value in 2015 are in the attached table.