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Regional variations in the implementation of the local air quality management process within Great Britain

Woodfield, N. K.; Longhurst, James; Beattie, C. I.; Laxen, D. P.H.


N. K. Woodfield

C. I. Beattie

D. P.H. Laxen


The UK National Air Quality Strategy has required local authorities to review and assess air quality in their area of jurisdiction and determine locations in their areas where concentrations of specific air quality pollutants are predicted to exceed national air quality objectives in the future. Statutory air quality management areas (AQMAs) are designated where air quality is predicted to be above specified objective concentrations by specific target dates, and statutory air quality action plans will be necessary to improve the local air quality within these areas. Over 124 local authorities in England (including London), Wales and Scotland anticipate declaring AQMAs following the conclusion of the statutory air quality review and assessment process. However, other influences are being exerted on the local air quality management process and AQMA decision-making processes. Such influences include regional and sub-regional collaborative working between local authorities and government agencies and wider political decision-making processes. Some regions of Great Britain (encompassing England (including London), Scotland and Wales) anticipate many AQMA designations, whilst other regions are not anticipating any such designations despite apparently similar air quality circumstances. Evidence for regional or sub-regional variations in the locations of anticipated AQMAs are examined through an evaluation of the outcomes of the scientific review and assessment process undertaken by local authorities declaring AQMAs, and through a local authority survey to identify influences on decision-making processes at a level above that of the local authority. Regional variation is reported in the type of pollutant causing AQMAs to be declared, in the numbers of AQMAs in regions and in the spatial distribution of AQMAs across Great Britain.


Woodfield, N. K., Longhurst, J., Beattie, C. I., & Laxen, D. P. (2003). Regional variations in the implementation of the local air quality management process within Great Britain. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 46(1), 49-64.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2003
Journal Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
Print ISSN 0964-0568
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 1
Pages 49-64
Keywords regional, implementation, local air quality management, Great Britain
Public URL
Publisher URL