Fareham Borough Council has announced today that, due to improved fresh air quality in the Borough, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has confirmed that is no longer necessary for Fareham to retain its two Air Quality Management Areas.

Fareham Borough Council undertook its first round of review and assessments of fresh air quality as part of a national air quality plan between 1998 and 2001. Following monitoring and progress reports in subsequent years, it was shown that two areas in Fareham; Gosport Road at the junction with Newgate Lane and Redlands Lane; and Portland Street, would exceed acceptable levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Therefore, Fareham Borough Council were required to declare these two locations as Air Quality Management Areas in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

In 2008, the Council published its fresh Air Quality Action Plan which contained 48 measures aimed at reducing NO2 concentrations. In addition, two continuous analysers were installed at Gosport Road and Portland Street to measure traffic related NO2 concentrations. As a result of the measures put in place, Fareham has not exceeded its NO2 levels since 2018 and DEFRA has now instructed the Council to revoke both its Air Quality Management Areas.

Fareham Borough Council will continue to have a duty to review and assess local air quality and report to DEFRA on it annually. As a result, the Council will retain its two continuous analysers and will continue to have Nitrogen Dioxide diffusion tubes placed around the Borough. The Council will also move forward with producing its new Air Quality Strategy to replace the existing Air Quality Action Plan ensuring continued air quality improvements for the future.

Executive Member for Health and Public Protection, Cllr Joanne Burton, said: “We are delighted that our two Air Quality Management Areas have been revoked as it clearly demonstrates that the measures we have put in place since 2008 have paid off. We have been within acceptable nitrogen dioxide levels since 2018, and we will continue to work to improve air quality in Fareham as part of our Air Quality Strategy in the future.”

Find out more about air quality in Fareham at www.fareham.gov.uk/airquality