Air quality in Lutterworth improves

Lutteworth High Street
Lutteworth High Street

Air quality in Lutterworth has remained below national limits for the first time since 2001.

The Air Quality – Annual Status Report, published by Harborough District Council this week, shows that, for the first time since 2001 when an Air Quality Management Area was declared in Lutterworth, there has been no exceedance in the annual average levels of nitrogen dioxide in 2018.

Out of the 10 air quality monitoring sites, across Lutterworth, none showed levels of nitrogen dioxide above national objectives.

It follows a number of actions carried out by Harborough District Council, working closely with Leicestershire County Council and air quality consultants, including a ‘gating system’ for lorries which allows for a better flow of heavy goods vehicles through the town, with less stopping and starting, by controlling the traffic light sequencing in the High Street.

Councillors will consider the report, based on air quality data from 2018, at a Harborough District Council Cabinet meeting on September 2.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s lead on air quality, said: “This report is very positive for Lutterworth, and the wider district, and shows that the work this council and partners have been doing is getting results. That said; we will continue to closely monitor air quality data going forward and will continue to work to improve air quality across the district at every opportunity.”

Generally the air quality in the Harborough district is good; however two Air Quality Management Areas have been 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.

Work is also continuing to improve air quality in the Kibworths as part of an action plan being carried out following feedback from residents in the area. Earlier this year, a high-tech monitoring station was installed in Leicester Road, in Kibworth Harcourt, by Harborough District Council. This is used to analyse hourly trends and test, more accurately, against air quality standards set by government.

Other measures in the Kibworths include ongoing ‘microsimulation’ work which has indicated that junction improvements could have a beneficial impact on air quality in the Kibworths.

The council is also introducing a new portable monitoring device which can be deployed across the district, where required, to increase its capacity to monitor air quality.

Find out more about air quality in the Harborough district and view live air quality updates at www.harborough.gov.uk/airquality