Action on air quality reaps encouraging results for second year

Published Wednesday 9 September 2020

Air quality has significantly improved in Lutterworth, for the second year running, according to annual data just published.

The Air Quality – Annual Status Report, published by Harborough District Council, shows that, for the second 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 and 2019.

Lutterworth high stAir quality monitoring across Lutterworth (pictured) has shown levels of nitrogen dioxide at relevant receptors meet national objectives for the second year running.

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 considered the report, based on air quality data from 2019, at a Harborough District Council Cabinet meeting on 8 September 2020.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s lead on air quality, said: “This report is further good news for Lutterworth, and the wider district, and shows that the work this Council and partners have been doing is getting results. However; whilst the 2018 and 2019 annual average results are very encouraging, further monitoring for a number of years is required before we can be confident that there is sufficient evidence to revoke the Air Quality Management Area in Lutterworth.”

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.

In 2019, monitoring took place at a total of 32 sites across the Harborough district with nitrogen dioxide levels being exceeded in just one location [Leicester Road, Kibworth].

Work to improve air quality is continuing in the Kibworths. Last year, an automatic monitoring station was installed on Leicester Road. This is used to analyse hourly trends and test, more accurately, against air quality standards set by Government. A low-cost monitoring device, known as a Zephyr, has also been installed on Leicester Road having been previously located on Springfield Street, Market Harborough.

‘Microsimulation’ work has indicated that junction improvements, if implemented, will have a beneficial impact on air quality in the Kibworths.

View the Cabinet report on the Council’s website.

Find out more about air quality in the Harborough district and view live air quality updates at