A shared service delivering Environmental Health, Licensing and Trading Standards across Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire Council

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Air Quality Management Areas

We have a duty under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 to periodically review and assess the air quality within our areas. This is part of the Government’s National Air Quality Strategy.  

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is an area where air pollution levels have exceeded the national air quality objectives.

The air quality objectives are set for the following pollutants: 

  • nitrogen dioxide 
  • particulate matter
  • carbon dioxide
  • benzene
  • 1,3-butadiene
  • sulphur dioxide
  • lead and
  • ozone.

In the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) area there are seven locations which do not meet the national air quality objectives for nitrogen dioxide, these have all been declared as AQMAs. These areas all have high traffic concentrations so the exceedances are not unexpected or different from any other towns with traffic congestion, particularly in the south east.  

We are now producing Air Quality Action Plans (AQAP) which outline the approach we will take to reduce air pollution and prevent levels increasing. However, the issues are unlikely to be resolved by the PPP in isolation which is why we need to work in partnership with others to develop strategies which can make a difference to the air we breathe.

See link here for map of Air Quality Management Areas. 



Air Quality Action Plan Consultation Overview for Crowthorne


We are currently consulting on a new Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) which sets out how the council intends to continue improve air quality in Crowthorne and the wider borough. The previous action plan ran from 2014 and focused on actions to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) to achieve compliance with national objectives. Several successful initiatives have been delivered that have helped to improve air quality over this period.

This new AQAP continues the ambition to reduce NO2 emissions, in the Crowthorne AQMA, whist having a positive impact borough wide.

Air pollution is associated with a number of adverse health impacts. It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions. There is also often a strong correlation with equalities issues because areas with poor air quality are also often the less affluent areas.

The annual health cost to society of the impacts of particulate matter alone in the UK is estimated to be around £16 billion. Bracknell Forest Borough Council is committed to reducing the exposure of people in Bracknell Forest to poor air quality in order to improve health.

We have developed actions that can be considered under nine broad topics:

  • Alternatives to use of private vehicles
  • Environmental permits
  • Freight and delivery management
  • Policy guidance and development control
  • Promoting low emission transport
  • Promoting travel alternatives
  • Transport planning and infrastructure
  • Traffic management
  • Vehicle fleet efficiency

Our priorities are to tackle emissions from local transport sources that impact on key locations and communities by developing policies and infrastructure plans to enable the prioritisation of sustainable and active travel modes.

In this AQAP we outline how we plan to effectively tackle air quality issues within our control. However, we recognise that there are many air quality policy areas that are outside of our influence (such as vehicle emissions standards), but for which we may have useful evidence, and so we will continue to work with regional and central government on policies and issues beyond Bracknell Forests direct influence.

Please use the following links to see the main sections of the AQAP:


Crowthorne AQAP Consultation


The consultation will run from the 20th December until the 31st January 2024.  Please send any comments to EQteam@westberks.gov.uk


Associated links

Associated documents

West Berkshire