Air pollution levels continue to improve across Harborough district
No areas exceeded the national air quality objectives, the annual air quality report by Harborough District Council has revealed.
Two air quality management areas were previously declared in the district - in Lutterworth in 2001, and in the Kibworths in 2017 – due to levels of nitrogen dioxide exceeding the annual mean air quality objective.
But the latest figures show no areas breeched air quality standards.
It is the fourth year running since the air quality management area was declared in Lutterworth that nitrogen dioxide results have not exceeded quality standards.
Harborough District Council says fewer cars on the road during national lockdowns is thoughts to have helped improve the district’s air quality position. Other contributing factors are the HGV gating system, which allows a greater flow of lorries through Lutterworth by controlling the traffic light sequencing, and the increased use of electric vehicles, of which there are some 1,500 registered in the district.
Air pollution is known to cause a number of health problems and is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. It particularly affects the most vulnerable such as children, older people and those with existing heart and lung conditions.
Harborough District Council air quality spokesman Cllr Jonathan Bateman said: “The sustained improvement to air quality in Lutterworth is excellent news and the lower levels of air pollution that were recorded in the Kibworths in 2021 is really encouraging.
“While national lockdowns have contributed to lower levels of air pollution, we must all do our bit to keep air pollution levels down in our district. The council is continuing to install more electric vehicle charge points and the Lutterworth Town Centre Masterplan looks to maximise opportunities to create more cycle facilities and improve opportunities for walking and cycling.”
The council monitors air quality at 34 sites across the district but says further checks will be needed for a number of years before it can remove the air quality management areas.
Click here for live updates and to find out more about air quality across Harborough.