Poor air quality can affect all areas of our lives, including our health, the buildings we live and work in, and our surrounding environment.
Those most at risk from poor air quality are the young, the elderly and those with a pre-existing lung or heart condition.
We are working to reduce air pollution by encouraging cleaner ways to travel, reducing the impact of new developments at the planning stage, investigating complaints of air pollution, and regulating Permitted Processes. We are involved with all aspects of air quality monitoring and pollution control in the Carlisle City Council area.
For more information about air quality, check the DEFRA website. You can also get up to date monitoring data from our two continuous analysers located at Stanwix Bank and Caldewgate.
What is Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is made up a mixture of gases and particles that have been released into the atmosphere by both man-made and natural processes. The sources and chemical behaviour of each separate pollutant are different, making the task of understanding and controlling air pollution as a whole very complex. We are responsible for assessing and reviewing the current and future air quality across the Carlisle area to make sure that it meets national objectives. If we are not meeting standards we provide an action plan showing what we will do to achieve the national standards.
Reducing air pollution
There are many things that you can do to help reduce pollution levels and improve the quality of life for yourself, your family and others.
- Think before you drive: for short trips, why check out walking and cycling routes around the city or use public transport?
- Use the Traveline North East and Cumbria Journey Planner to find out what transport options are available.
- Try not to use your car for short trips because a cold engine can produce more pollution.
- Have your car serviced regularly so that it runs efficiently and saves fuel! You can report a smoky vehicle to VOSA.
- Regularly check your cars tyre pressure to improve fuel consumption.
- Don't leave your engine idling when you are parked or when the car is stationery, such as outside school gates.
- Drive economically. Racing starts and sudden stops increase fuel consumption.
- Don't exceed the speed limit. Emissions rise at higher speeds.
- Think about car sharing - go shopping with neighbours or take a colleague to work or find out about joining a Car Share Club.
Smoke Control Areas
Locations of the smoke control areas within Carlisle are highlighted on our online mapping tool or on our smoke control map that you can find in the dowloads section. To view the areas on the map, place a tick in the 'Smoke Control Areas' category which is listed in the 'Environmental' section.
In addition to the regularly used “smokeless fuels”, such as gas, electricity and anthracite, there are also appliances which are exempted by law such as ovens, wood burners and stoves. The exemption requirements of the appliance will list the fuels that you are allowed to burn, along with the size and moisture content of such fuels. DEFRA also list several other fuels which are considered smokeless.
Air Quality Documents
We have a legal duty to periodically review and assess the current and likely future air quality in Carlisle against national air quality standards and objectives. The purpose of the assessment process is to identify areas where it is likely that objectives for the seven common air pollutants will not be met.
Where an air quality objective is not likely to be met we must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and produce an Action Plan outlining how we intend to improve the air quality within that area.
Our review and assessment work has concluded that air quality within the Carlisle district is generally very good. However there are small pockets within the City where the annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide is not being met due to road traffic emissions.
Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)
We have declared six Air Quality Management Areas within the City. The maps showing the boundaries of these areas can be downloaded below. As a consequence of this we have produced an Air Quality Action Plan setting out measures we propose to take to help reduce nitrogen dioxide levels within the AQMAs.
The action plan along with all our Review and Assessment Reports can be downloaded from the downloadable document section.