Barnsley MBC is committed to making air quality better where possible.

Under the Environment Act 1995, Barnsley MBC, are required to review the local air quality by measuring pollution levels against health standards and air quality aims.

If an area does not meet these standards, then the local authority declares an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), and devises an Action Plan. The action plan contains measures to attempt to reduce air pollution to meet the standards. Barnsley currently has seven AQMAs, affecting approximately 650 residential properties in the Borough.

All of Barnsley’s AQMAs are due to nitrogen dioxide gas caused by traffic emissions. These areas are all next to roads with heavy traffic, such as the M1 motorway, the A616 through the village of Langsett, or along congested main roads or junctions close to Barnsley town centre. Outside of the AQMAs, air pollution currently meets the air quality standards.

In order to tackle poor air quality, Barnsley MBC released a revised air quality action plan in 2012. This plan contains measures which aim to improve air quality within our AQMAs, as well as maintaining and improving air quality elsewhere.

As traffic emissions are the biggest source of local air pollution, a lot of actions are aimed at transport. These include:

  • making traffic flow better at congested junctions
  • laying down emission standards for buses going into Barnsley town centre
  • working with fleet operators to reduce emissions from their fleet processes
  • promoting eco driving, cycling, and walking

Barnsley MBC also keep tabs on air emissions from industry and houses using the Environmental Permitting Regulations, Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Clean Air Acts.  Officers also check the air quality impact of new developments through the planning process, and suggest ways to make these impacts smaller.

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