Air quality

Poor air quality is now considered to be the largest environmental health risk in the UK.

While there are lots of different types of pollutants, Nitrogen Dioxide (or ‘NO2’) and Particulate Matter (or ‘PM’) are considered to be the most important in Southampton.

Short term exposure to high levels of these pollutants can cause irritation and aggravate conditions like asthma, while long term exposure to high levels can increase the risk of lung and heart conditions.

We are committed to meeting and maintaining compliance with national air quality objectives, but it is also our ambition to continue to reduce emissions under the Our Greener City Plan 2030 as we recognise that any improvements have the opportunity to improve public health.

Where does air pollution come from? SHOW


Find out more about how you can help to improve air quality.

What are we doing to improve air quality?

Local authorities are required to monitor local air quality to identify where ‘national air quality objectives’ are not being met. Southampton meets all air quality objectives other than that for yearly average levels of nitrogen dioxide in certain areas. Most of our measures focus on reducing emissions of this pollutant by tackling its main source: road transport. As a result of these measures, levels of this pollutant have been improving steadily.

1. Air Quality Action Plan SHOW


2. The Local NO2 Plan SHOW


3. Clean Air Strategy 2019-25 SHOW


4. The Our Greener City Charter and Plan SHOW