Brighton proposes new air quality targets for city

The targets focus on five priority areas, including aims to boost active travel, improve monitoring and provide support to those wishing to switch to electric vehicles.

The revised Air Quality Action Plan proposed by Brighton & Hove City Council is set to go beyond current UK legal requirements, working towards 2021 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines instead.

For example, the council is proposing to reach an annual mean of 30 µg/m3 outdoor NO2 by 2026, 25% lower than the minimum UK legal requirement of 40 µg/m3. In the long-term it aims to achieve the WHO recommendation of 10 µg/m3.

There are more than 60 proposed actions outlined in the Air Quality Action Plan, falling under five different priority areas: increasing active travel and travel by public transport, supporting the uptake of ultra-low and zero exhaust vehicles, improving monitoring and public awareness, reducing emissions from buildings and new development, and partnership working.  

blue and white wooden chairs near seaside

One such action being considered is the formation of a citywide smoke control area by 2023 to reduce the amount of smoke from chimneys. This would make it against the law for homeowners and tenants to emit persistent smoke from a chimney.

The council is also exploring whether to use ultra-low emission vehicles for the council’s Home to School Services and is considering developing an interactive online air quality map for residents.

87% of locals, who responded to a consultation on the council’s plans over the summer, said they would use an online air quality database to keep updated on changes in air quality.

Many of the plans laid out by Brighton & Hove City Council continue existing measures, such as the delivery of an expanded Ultra-Low Emission Zone to encompass a wider area and different types of vehicles.

The council has also committed to establishing Travel Plans with schools and workplaces, installing 250 more electric vehicle charging points and to work with bus and taxi operators to lower emissions.

Cllr Amy Heley, Co-Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: ‘I’m pleased we’ve been bold and ambitious in setting out our plans to improve air quality in Brighton & Hove.

‘Air pollution is responsible for thousands of deaths in England every year and we need to do more to reduce harmful emissions which directly impact on the air we breathe.

‘The quality and quantity of feedback provided into our consultation demonstrates the demands for higher standards for air quality in the city. Alongside improving our reporting and monitoring that is what we’ve done in this plan.

‘These measures, together with the work we’re already doing, means we can work towards cleaner air for a healthier Brighton & Hove.’

Photo by Rad Ana


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