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Reducing pollution

Each local authority within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has an obligation to meet the requirements of the National Air Quality Strategy and the Air Quality Regulations 2002 and thus work to reducing air pollution through local air quality management. 

How it breaks down

Road transport accounts for approximately 50% of air pollution worldwide and is a major contributor to air quality within the area. Petrol and diesel-engine motor vehicles emit a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulates (PM10), which have an increasing impact on air quality.  

Everyone can contribute to reducing air pollution where the smallest action can result in large benefits. Examples of actions in where you can reduce air pollution are: 

  • not using your car for short journeys 
  • walk, cycle or take the bus or train instead of using a car 
  • share your car journeys with friends and family. 

If you're using your car

  • maintain your car efficiently, having your car serviced regularly and keeping the correct tyre pressure 
  • drive smoothly and do not rev your engine unnecessarily, which will save fuel and emit less pollution 
  • turn off the engine when your car is stationary 
  • avoid heavily congested areas. 

At home

  • avoid lighting bonfires (if you must light a bonfire, only burn dry material and never household waste
  • if you are using a wood burning stove or an open fire, please follow the advice in the Burn Right leaflet 
  • buy water based or low solvent paints, varnishes, glues and wood preservatives.