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Air quality action plans: Early indicators of urban local authority practice in England

Beattie, C. I.; Longhurst, James; Woodfield, N. K.


C. I. Beattie

N. K. Woodfield


The delivery of improved local ambient air quality in the UK has emerged through the implementation of the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland [DETR, Welsh Office, Scottish Office, Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, CM 4548, London, The Stationery Office, 2000] by the air quality management (AQM) regime. Local authorities now have the responsibility to undertake a review and assessment of air quality in their area and to identify locations where health-based objectives are likely to be exceeded. If relevant public exposure exists, an air quality management area must be designated. Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs) provide the mechanism by which local authorities, in collaboration with national agencies and others, will state their intentions for working towards the air quality objectives through the powers they have available and by collaboration with other bodies who are in the position of implementing solutions to their air quality hot spots. This management regime will require a new way of local authority working, involving not only local authority joint working but also regional collaboration and co-operation with outside agencies and authorities such as health authorities, regulators of industry and highways managers. Management aspects of the AQM process have been investigated through the data collection from a series of questionnaire surveys. It is argued that the extent to which a local authority is able to show integration of its air quality management responsibilities is an indicator of their capability for delivering AQAPs. Although local authorities appear to be making moves towards a more integrated approach to managing environmental issues, there are still significant gaps in joint working identified through questionnaire surveys and case studies undertaken by the authors. Some recommendations for the successful implementation of AQAPs are also included. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


Beattie, C. I., Longhurst, J., & Woodfield, N. K. (2002). Air quality action plans: Early indicators of urban local authority practice in England. Environmental Science and Policy, 5(6), 463-470.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2002
Journal Environmental Science and Policy
Print ISSN 1462-9011
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 6
Pages 463-470
Keywords local air quality management, air quality action plans, AQAPs, air quality objectives, local authorities
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Lead author. Drawing on doctoral research of Beattie and Woodfield (Longhurst DoS) this is the first contribution to consider the air quality improvement arising from LAQM action and to explore the barriers to achievement of cleaner air via local action. Work has influenced central and local government policy and practice