How we manage air quality in the city

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

Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP)

The consultation on our draft AQAP has closed. 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. We're looking into the benefits of this before a decision is made.

This revised 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 needed.

This plan is required for the 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 danger 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, and the AQAP will be updated in 2027.

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, which Defra has appraised, is our 2022 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR)

The first report since COVID-19 is the 2021 Annual Status Report (ASR).

You can also download archived reports.

To complement the latest ASR for a regional picture of particles and ozone please refer to the Sussex Air Pollution Monitoring Network Report.

Find more information about equalities impact assessments.

Local air quality management reports

We have to regularly create local air quality management reports for Defra. This is one of our legal duties under part IV of the Environment Act 1995.

We call designated areas where the levels of pollution are too high and do not comply with health standards 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. We will spend this on making buses which operate in and around Brighton & Hove ‘super low emission’. 

We will use the money 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.

Brighton & Hove Buses have also invested £17.8 in 54 hybrid buses. These buses are battery powered when they travel through the city centre.

Additional funding for air quality monitoring 

We will also lead 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.