Bath and North East Somerset Council is required under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 to periodically review and assess the air quality in their area in line with guidance issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Present and likely future quality of the air is compared to the National Air Quality Objectives. Where the objectives are found to be exceeded and are identified as areas of public exposure, an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) must be declared.
The Council has a comprehensive monitoring network that provides data on air pollution. Levels of nitrogen dioxide have been compared to the National Air Quality Objectives. These levels exceed the objectives at a number of locations.
In 2002 an Air Quality Management Area in Bath was originally declared covering an area including the London Road and Cleveland Bridge for annual average nitrogen dioxide objective. Monitoring data has since indicated a need to expand this area. The Air Quality Management Area has been varied several times, most recently in 2013. The current Air Quality Management Area covers most of the principal road network in central Bath and is valid for both annual average and hourly objectives of nitrogen dioxide. The current area is shown in red on the map.
Air Quality Action Plan
Following the declaration of an Air Quality Management Area, The Environment Act 1995 requires an Air Quality Action Plan to be developed to identify actions to reduce air pollution levels. An Air Quality Action Plan to identify actions to reduce NO2 levels was adopted in February 2011.