A new website has launched this week giving residents of Cheshire West access to live air quality data from across the borough and from local authorities across the country.
A key element of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Low Emission Strategy (LES) included a commitment to improve the standard of air quality data provided to residents and to introduce a mobile-based platform to give residents easy and convenient access to the data.
The website provides residents with improved access to near real-time data from the Council’s monitoring stations. The data also feeds through to the UK Air Quality website which hosts live air quality data from local authorities across the country:
Gases being monitored vary by location and by monitor type. Borough wide, nitrogen dioxide is monitored using diffusion tubes. There are three traffic-related Air Quality Management Areas, in Frodsham, Ellesmere Port and Chester respectively, all with a focus on nitrogen dioxide.
There is also an industrial emissions Air Quality Management Area, located in Thornton-le-Moors with the focus on sulphur dioxide. The Council also monitors particulate matter (PM10) emissions from both industrial and transport sources to ensure compliance with the national standards.
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Strategic Transport said: “The new website allows the air quality data to be easily checked at all times 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. The new website is being launched at the same time we are planning to revoke the Air Quality Management Area in Ellesmere Port that was declared in May 2005 for transport related levels of nitrogen dioxide. Over the past five years, monitoring has demonstrated a trend of reducing levels. The levels now comply with the national standard and are likely to continue to improve which will allow us to revoke the order. This reduction in levels is the result of the Air Quality Action Plan vehicle queue reduction measures combined with improved vehicle emission standards.”