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Air quality in Wiltshire

Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultations

We are asking for people's feedback on our action plan to help ensure the air quality throughout Wiltshire is safe.

A statutory consultation gets underway from 24 June 2023 on the council's Air Quality Action Plan. The consultation will run for six weeks until 4 September 2023.

As well as transport contributing over a third of all carbon emissions in Wiltshire, it also releases harmful gases that affect the quality of the air. Wiltshire Council monitors air quality across the county to assess the levels of harmful gases in the local environment. This monitoring has shown that the air quality in Wiltshire is very good but in a few heavily trafficked areas they have identified levels of nitrogen dioxide that are too high. Nitrogen dioxide is a product of combustion and in Wiltshire's case the high levels is being caused by emissions from motor vehicles. The biggest contributors are diesel cars and Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) have been declared around Wiltshire where the nitrogen dioxide levels are excessive. The council is required by law to produce an action plan detailing the measures that will be used to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in these locations.

We have produced a summary of our Air Quality Action Plan alongside a more detailed plan to help inform you how we plan to ensure the quality of the air the local population breathes is safe. The plan contains a list of proposed actions and measures that we will take to improve air quality, more specifically the reduction in levels of nitrogen dioxide in eight areas in the county where levels have been found to be excessive.

The Air Quality Action Plan is being consulted on at the same time as the draft Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This provides an important mechanism to help us achieve the aims and objectives of the action plan. Feedback is welcomed on all documents and you are encouraged to complete short surveys. All the documents, including the surveys to complete, will be available from 24 July 2023 at:

Air Quality Action Plan Consultation (opens new window)

Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) Consultation (opens new window)

The consultations are open to everyone. A hard copy of the draft Air Quality Action Plan is available in our libraries in towns where Air Quality Management Areas are located. These are Marlborough, Bradford on Avon, Calne, Westbury, Devizes and Salisbury.

A summary of responses will be made following the consultation period. These responses will be fully considered and, if appropriate, changes will be made to the draft action plan to help produce a final version prior to the council considering it for formal adoption.

If anyone has any questions or comments about this consultation they can contact the council at (opens new window) or post them to The Environmental Control and Protection Team, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JQ

Background information on air quality in Wiltshire

All District and Unitary Councils in England are required to proactively review air quality across their areas. Wiltshire Council's boundaries are formed from county of Wiltshire, excluding Swindon Borough Council.

Air quality is monitored by councils within the Legal framework created by the Environment Act 1995, and this is known as "Local Air Quality Management" (LAQM)

The relatively few locations where air quality may fail to meet the UK air quality standards have to be investigated and sampled in order to determine the true extent of the problem. If significant pollution is identified the council concerned has to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and put plans in place to improve the air quality.

Air quality in Wiltshire is predominantly very good. However, there are currently eight AQMAs that have been declared at:

  • Bradford on Avon, along Masons Lane and the Town centre
  • Calne, on the route of the A4 through the town centre, parts of Silver Street and Wood Street. The highest levels have been measured at the New Road/ London Road junction.
  • Devizes, where elevated levels have been measured at Shanes Castle, Wadworth Corner, and New Park Street.
  • Marlborough, where exceedances have been found on Herd Street and Barn St on the A346 running north / south through the town and connecting the M5 and Swindon with the south coast.
  • Westbury on Warminster and Haynes roads which form the A350 through the town
  • Salisbury city centre within the ring road
  • Salisbury London Road (A30) on the A30 between St Marks Roundabout and the rail tunnel allotments
  • Salisbury Wilton Road (A36T) between St Pauls roundabout and Skew Bridge, which is a trunk road connecting the south coast with Bristol and the M5, and as such is maintained by National Highways.

These have all been declared in respect of the Annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide. The specific actions being taken in these towns is detailed in Wiltshire's Air Quality Action Plan.

We also have a wider Air Quality Strategy for Wiltshire that is focused on improving air quality across the whole of Wiltshire, seeking to prevent any further deterioration, and encouraging interventions that will reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates across the county.

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