Air quality website launches for Cheshire West and Chester

The latest in a growing number of online public resources aimed at keeping people informed about air pollution in their area has gone live in North West England.

The tool forms a key part of the Cheshire West and Chester Council Low Emission Strategy, which itself includes a commitment to take further steps towards improving air quality data, and access to that information, for constituents. 

people on street during daytime

The website itself comes in the form of a mobile-based platform, which allows users to quickly and easily find up-to-date measurements for major pollutants in their area. As with all resources of this kind, the benefits are two-fold; offering transparency to residents in terms of what they are breathing in, and helping vulnerable people protect themselves more effectively when levels spike, with readings also feeding into the national UK Air Quality website. 

Gases being monitored vary depending on area. Three traffic-related Air Quality Management areas – covering Frodsham, Ellesmere Port, and the city of Chester, are all feeding back nitrogen dioxide data, one of the most harmful pollutants which Air Quality News recently ran a feature focused on, and is currently at the centre of proposals to ban the sale of new gas stoves in the US

Sulphur dioxide readings are now available for the industrial emissions Air Quality Management Area around Thornton-le-Moors, while wider measurements are being taken for particulate matter (PM10) across all major industrial and transport hubs, with nitrogen dioxide measured borough wide using diffusion tubes. Levels will enable the council to ensure compliance with current national limits. 

‘The website allows the air quality data to be easily checked at all time, including historic data. The improved functionality allows different parameters to be selected based on location, timeframe and pollutants, and the data can be exported if needed,’ said Cllr Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Strategic Transport. 

Cheshire West and Chester’s new air quality website has been introduced at a time when plans are forming to revoke the Air Quality Management Area at Ellesmere Port, which has been in place since 2005 as a result of transport-related nitrogen dioxide. According to Shore, the past five years have demonstrated a marked decline in this gas, with levels now compliant with national standards and ‘likely to continue to improve which will allow us to revoke the order’, with a the area’s Air Quality Action Plan and vehicle queue reduction measures, along with more modern, lower-emission models of vehicle, credited with the result.

Last year, the UK’s most advanced interactive map of air pollution went live online. Take a look here.

Image: Rachel Hannah Photo




Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Interesting and encouraging, thank you. I see you mention PM10, why not PM2.5? Sorry, but with regard to the addresspollution site, I think that postcode mapsystem is unreliable in rural parts of the UK where there are no actual AQ monotoring sites for many miles. The data must come from computer modelling which could be missing the local pollution ‘hot-spots’, especially in valleys. We checked out a number of local addresses and the addresspollution levels given were all pretty much the same all over. They all,said the air was very good. When we checked with a hand-held monitor, most rural parts where we live certainly do have very good air quality – but not all the time. And narrow village & town streets here have plenty of smoky chimneys and small industrial sites tucked in. On our own handheld monitors, those streets show up as having poor AQ but on the addresspollution the readings for those same post codes show up as “good air” and “no action required” . Also, not sure if that site gives the same readings for these postcodes all year round, any time of day etc? If it’s that general, how useful is it? What we need is something more accurate and ‘live’. If the addresspollution site relies on Defra data, sorry but thheir monitoring network is missing out many places across the whole UK. See the Defra maps, the fine particulate monitoring sites are concentrated in the the big towns and cities. I conclude that the addresspollution site doesn’t work well in rural areas because the data being used there is not finegrained enough. Anyone else notice this?.

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top