Local authorities are obliged to regularly review and assess air quality in their areas. Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) are established where air quality falls below nationally set target levels, and plans then have to be put in place to make improvements. In 2016, there were 10 AQMAs across Wakefield district, all initially established for exceeding Nitrogen Dioxide targets. All but two of them have now improved to a point where air quality targets are being met (see table below). Only the Wakefield City AQMA and the Ackworth AQMA have monitoring results above the target (three of sixteen monitoring locations in the Wakefield AQMA, and one of three monitoring locations in the Ackworth AQMA exceeded the target). Ongoing investigation of one of the Ackworth monitoring points is suggesting that the high readings might be questionable. In all the AQMAs, local road traffic has been the primary source of the air pollution, with emissions from diesel vehicles being the most significant contributor.
In addition to Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter is also a cause for concern. Although no monitoring of PM10 was undertaken during 2015, the previous four years of monitoring (2011 to 2014) showed results well below the target level. In 2016 the PM10 levels were lower than in 2014, suggesting an improving trend. A new monitor has also been installed in Park Street, Wakefield to measure PM2.5 levels. These smaller particulates can have a significant impact on human health, including premature mortality. The result for 2016 shows a level (10μg/m3) well below the target value of 25μg/m3.
|☗||potential exceedance of the NO2 1-hour mean objective|
|☗||NO2 annual means equal to or exceeding 40 μg/m3|
|☗||NO2 annual means below 40 μg/m3|
|measurements are local bias adjusted|
Air quality trends (Nitrogen Dioxide).