Air quality monitoring

Find out how we are managing levels of air pollution in our borough.

Air pollution is linked to health problems and those most at risk are the young, the elderly and people who have asthma or heart or lung diseases.

For this reason, we regularly check air quality in our borough to make sure pollutants, such as Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) do not exceed the icon limits set by the government. [207.08KB]

Road traffic is our main pollutant

Air quality in Guildford is generally good and meets the National Air Quality Standard for NO2. However, road traffic is a significant cause of air pollution in the borough and there is a risk that NO2 levels may go above the acceptable national standards.

Blackwater Valley Group

Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Hampshire County Council are working together to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations on the A331 between the A31 and M3. Find out how the group is taking action by visiting the Blackwater Valley Group website.

Measuring pollution

Diffusion tubes measuring Nitrogen dioxide

To measure NO2 levels, diffusion tubes are located at 31 different locations.

Diffusion tubes are left at sites for a month, then analysed to give the average concentration of NO2 for that month.

The monthly results are averaged over 12 months to give an annual mean result.


View results from our monitoring:

Air quality duties

Our duties to monitor air quality in the borough are set out by the Environment Act 1995, European Union Directives and the UK's Air Quality Strategy.

If air quality in the borough does not meet the national standard, we will draw up an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and draft an action plan to improve the air quality in that area. 

Tackling air quality

We are working hard to improve air quality in our borough with projects such as:

  • car clubs

  • a Town centre Transport Package which aims to make it easier for people to get around the town centre on foot, by bicycle, and public transport

  • electric charging points being added in public car parks

  • a sustainable parking strategy, which is at a draft stage and will improve congestion and help use of electric and low emission vehicles.

How you can help

We are asking businesses and residents to help improve our borough's air quality, for example by:

  • choosing a sustainable travel option using public transport, park and ride, walking, cycling, car clubs, or car sharing
  • using cleaner, ultra low emission vehicles

  • avoiding burning garden waste on bonfires. Join our garden waste scheme instead

  • following smoke control guidelines and using authorised appliances and fuel choices

  • turning off car engines when you are stationary.