Quality statement 1: Strategic plans

Quality statement

Local authorities identify in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies how they will address air pollution, including enabling zero- and low-emission travel and developing buildings and spaces to reduce exposure to air pollution.

Rationale

Local authorities should be strategic leaders of local initiatives to address air pollution, working in a coordinated way with key partners to ensure a consistent and planned approach. Identifying their approach to air pollution in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies will provide a clear framework for joined-up local action. The key components of their approach should include enabling zero- and low-emission travel (including active travel such as cycling or walking) and developing buildings and spaces to reduce exposure to air pollution.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence that local authorities identify in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies how they will address air pollution, including who is responsible for delivering key actions.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a review of actions to improve air quality is included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report.

b) Evidence that local authorities identify in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies how they will encourage and enable active travel.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a review of actions to improve air quality is included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report.

c) Evidence that local authorities identify in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies how they will encourage and enable travel by zero- and low-emission vehicles.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a review of actions to improve air quality is included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report.

d) Evidence that local authorities identify in the Local Plan, local transport plan and other key strategies how they will develop buildings and spaces to reduce exposure to air pollution.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a review of actions to improve air quality is included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report.

e) Evidence that local authorities identify key actions to address air pollution and monitor progress against them.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, progress on actions to improve air quality is included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report.

Outcome

a) Proportion of journeys made by local residents that are by walking, cycling, public transport or zero- or low-emission vehicles.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, survey of residents. Data for local authorities from the Department for Transport National Travel Survey are available under special licence.

b) Annual and hourly mean concentrations for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

c) Annual and daily mean concentrations for particulate matter of 10 micrometres or less in diameter (PM10).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

d) Annual mean concentration for fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter (PM2.5).

Data source: Local data collection, for example, monitoring results are included in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Local Air Quality Management annual status report. Modelled data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network are available from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs' UK Air Information Resource.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Local authorities work with partners to ensure the Local Plan, local transport plan, and other key strategies identify the approach to addressing air pollution, including enabling zero- and low-emission travel and developing buildings and spaces to reduce exposure to air pollution. Local authorities work together to prevent migration of traffic and emissions to other communities, which may result in areas of poor air quality.

People in the community know that their local authority and other local organisations are working together to protect them from the effects of air pollution.

Source guidance

Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health (2017) NICE guideline NG70, recommendations 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.3

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Local authorities

All tiers of local government including county, district and unitary authorities, as well as regional bodies and transport authorities.

[NICE's guideline on air pollution: outdoor air quality and health, recommendation 1.1.1]

Other key strategies

Relevant local strategies, such as the air quality action plan, commissioning and procurement strategy, core strategy, environment strategy, and health and wellbeing strategy.

[NICE's guideline on air pollution: outdoor air quality and health, recommendation 1.1.1 and expert opinion]

Zero- and low-emission travel

Includes cycling and walking; travel by zero- and low-emission vehicles such as electric cars, buses, bikes and pedal cycles; and car sharing schemes or clubs.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on air pollution: outdoor air quality and health, recommendation 1.1.1 and terms used in this guideline]

Developing buildings and spaces to reduce exposure to air pollution

This could include:

  • siting and designing new buildings, facilities and estates to reduce the need for motorised travel

  • minimising the exposure of vulnerable groups to air pollution by not siting buildings (such as schools, nurseries and care homes) in areas where pollution levels will be high

  • siting living accommodation away from roadsides

  • avoiding the creation of street and building configurations (such as deep street canyons) that encourage pollution to build up where people spend time

  • including landscape features such as appropriate species of trees and vegetation in open spaces or as 'green' walls or roofs where this does not restrict ventilation

  • considering how structures such as buildings and other physical barriers will affect the distribution of air pollutants.

[NICE's guideline on air pollution: outdoor air quality and health, recommendation 1.1.2]

Equality and diversity considerations

Local authorities should ensure that strategic plans identify areas where air pollution is highest and, in particular, locations where people who are vulnerable to air pollution may be exposed to high levels of air pollution, such as schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes, so that targeted approaches can be put in place.

Local authorities should ensure that they assess the impact on vulnerable groups if local charges on certain classes of vehicle in clean air zones are proposed. If necessary, actions to mitigate the impact of charges on specific groups should be identified.