Find out how we monitor air quality and pollution
We carry out reviews to check air quality, the current levels of pollutants and predicted future levels against the government's health-based standards.
Every year, we report on whether the air quality within the Guildford area meets the national air quality standards. Air quality is monitored by taking readings on how much nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is in the air.
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. We have three AQMAs currently in place.
Air quality study
We took part in a countywide air quality study. The study was completed by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC). The report aimed to find and prioritise actions in local pollution hotspots.
The report also evaluated public health impact of air quality. Areas near major roads have the highest levels of pollution and health impacts.
Tackling air quality
We are working with colleagues in Highways, Transport Planning, School Travel Planning, Road Safety and Transport Strategy to tackle air quality. We have also joined with Easit Network to improve greener travel options and travel planning for our residents and businesses. Visit the Easit website to find out more.
The Planning Framework makes sure that air quality is taken into account in local plans and must be considered at the pre-application stage. Infrastructure has to include greener transport options.
Our improvements include:
- 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 have been added in public car parks
- a sustainable parking strategy, which will improve congestion and help the 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 by:
- choosing 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
How we monitor air quality
We monitor levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at locations where receptors are found. These are usually very close to a busy road and are likely to be exposed to pollutants regularly.
Diffusion tube monitoring 2023
Monitoring is carried out using diffusion tubes. This method is approved by DEFRA and is useful for:
- borough-wide monitoring
- identifying areas of concern
We have 50 monitoring locations. Some of these locations are long term monitoring sites. These help us monitor trends over a long period of time.
Use our interactive map below to find the location of these:
Air Quality Data and Annual Status Reports
We produce Annual Status Reports (ASR) on air quality within our borough.
The report gives an overview of:
- the previous year's monitoring
- an assessment of monitoring trends
- details of air quality actions implemented
- and actions prioritised for next year.
The available monitoring data for 2023 and the latest ASR can be downloaded from here: