How we manage air quality in the city

Find out what we're doing to improve air quality in Brighton & Hove and view our local air quality reports

Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP)

The consultation on our draft AQAP has closed. Following public consultation the final report was approved by ETS committee on 15 November 2022. It included an amendment not to change the city's smoke control areas at this time.

This latest Air Quality Action Plan (2022 to 2027) has been produced as part of our statutory duties under the Environment Act 1995, as required by the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) framework.

Where an area is identified as at risk of non-compliance with legal limits of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), an Air Quality Action Plan is required.

Whilst we want to improve air quality citywide our legal requirement is to prioritise improvement in 6 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). These were declared by the council in 2020, because monitoring and modelling showed a risk of non-compliance with toxic NO2 and therefore a risk to public health.

The plan includes evidence which identifies sources of emissions (gases and smoke) that impact most on life in the city. It outlines actions and priorities to improve air quality which will not only benefit residents and visitors to the city but also the wider Sussex region.

Progress on measures set out within this plan will be reported within the council’s annual status reports.

How we report on air quality

Each year we send Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) an update on local air quality. 

The most recent report on local air quality is our 2023 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR)

You can view and download provisional results for January to June 2023.

You can also view and download archived reports.

To complement the latest ASR for a regional picture of particles and ozone you can read the Sussex Air Pollution Monitoring Network Report.

Air quality management areas

Designated areas where the levels of pollution are too high and do not comply with health standards are called Air Quality Management Areas or AQMAs. The 2020 Detailed Assessment sets out technical justification for declaration of 2020 AQMAs.

Download the legal air quality management areas order for more information.  

How we're reducing pollution from transport

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) have given £499,500 of funding. Additional funding from Brighton & Hove Buses means that we have a total of £676,000. This has been spent on making buses which operate in and around Brighton & Hove ‘super low emission’.

The Defra funding has been allocated to upgrade the exhausts of 52 buses with newer, cleaner parts. This will reduce the emissions they produce in Brighton & Hove and the wider Sussex area.  

This work will be in addition to 100 buses already converted under similar schemes since 2014.

In 2018 and 2019 Brighton & Hove Buses also invested £17.8 in 54 hybrid buses. These buses are battery powered and zero emission when they travel through the city centre and AQMAs.

Additional funding for air quality monitoring 

For 2024 we're leading a project with £376,800 of new Defra air quality funding. This project will improve air quality monitoring and provide information on pollution and behaviour across the county.

This fund will also raise awareness of:

  • the risks of pollution
  • the health benefits of cleaner air
  • emission free travel

It follows a joint bid to the national air quality grant, made between ourselves and other local councils across East and West Sussex. 

The work to reduce air pollution and raise awareness will include working with taxi trade, events, and schools. 

Brighton & Hove’s Carbon Neutral Fund has also been allocated to air monitoring projects.