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Air Pollution: Urban Areas

January 29, 2008

Question written on 29/01/2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which cities did not meet their air quality targets in the latest year for which figures are available.

Answered by Jonathan R Shaw

The UK is required to report breaches of EU air quality limit values/long-term objectives to the European Commission on an annual basis. The following table provides a list of all agglomerations (urban areas with a population greater than 250,000) in which breaches occurred in 2006this is the latest year for which fully validated data is available. The data can also be accessed via the European Environment Agency’s website.In interpreting the data, it is important to note that, in nearly all cases, the breaches occurred alongside the busiest roads in built up urban areas, such as Marylebone road in central London, and were not widespread.The UK’s recently revised Air Quality Strategy sets out a way forward for work and planning on improving air quality throughout the UK. 2006 breaches of EU limit values/long-term objectives in UK agglomerations Nitrogen dioxide Particulate matter (PM 16 ) Ozone 1 hour mean limit value Annual mean limit value Daily mean limit value Annual mean limit value Long term objectiveGreater London Urban AreayyyyyWest Midlands Urban AreammmyGreater Manchester Urban AreaymyWest Yorkshire Urban AreamyyTynesidemmyLiverpool Urban AreammySheffield Urban AreammyNottingham Urban AreammyBristol Urban AreaymmBrighton/Worthing/LittlehamptonmyyLeicester Urban AreammyPortsmouth Urban AreammyTeesside Urban AreammyThe Potteries (Stoke on Trent)mmyBournemouth Urban AreammyReading/Wokingham Urban AreammyCoventry/BedworthmmyKingston upon HullmmySouthampton Urban AreammyBirkenhead Urban AreamySouthend Urban AreammyBlackpool Urban AreayPreston Urban AreamyGlasgow Urban AreayymEdinburgh Urban AreamyCardiff Urban AreamySwansea Urban AreayBelfast Urban Areammy indicates no breach; y indicates a monitored breach; m indicates a modelled breach.