About Air Quality

Welcome to the UK Air Quality network. This website is designed to show real-time and historic air quality measurements, statistics, reports and background information. Everything is read-only so please explore the pages.


Pollutant measurements are collected automatically every hour from many locations for public information. These measurements are quality controlled in real-time before displaying on the website. The final results are quality controlled annually following the requirements of the UK Local Air Quality Management: Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(09).


Images from the UK Air Quality website


Background Information

Here are some topics providing background information on air quality.


How to use this air quality website


Pollutant, Sources and Effects


Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) – showing the current air quality measurements as colour coded bands based on the latest medical research


UK and EU air quality limits – full list of air quality standards, objectives, target values and limit values


Monitoring site locations classifications based on the local environment with some examples


How air quality is measured common measurement techniques


Air Quality Statistics example annual report showing the air quality statistics


How air quality data are ratified and QA/QC the methodology used by the UK national air quality network (AURN)


Examples of good and poor quality control plotting the data is the final quality control step


Air Quality Links

Further information can be obtained from a wide range of air quality websites.


§  Air Quality Background Information

§  Air Quality Glossary- Glossary of air quality terminology

§  Air quality health bandings

§  Local Air Quality Management (LAQM)

§  National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI)

§  Northern Ireland - Air Quality Information

§  Scotland - Air Quality Information

§  UK and Regional - Air Quality Forecast

§  UK-Air - Air Information Resource

§  Wales - Air Quality Information


Kid’s Corners

§  Northern Ireland - Kid's Corner

§  Scotland – Air Quality Detectives and Clear the Air


Our UK air quality networks

§  UK Air Quality - Air Quality in the UK

§  Herts and Bed Air Quality Network - Air Quality in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

§  Norfolk Air Quality - Air Quality in Norfolk


Performance Targets

The quality of the air quality measurements meets the requirements of the UK Local Air Quality Management: Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(09). The Data Quality Objectives sets the required accuracy of the final results after data validation and ratification.



Our air quality websites also includes measurements provided by other organisations to create a complete historical archive at each monitoring location. We are not responsible for the quality of measurements provided by third parties. Quality control is difficult to describe (AURN QAQC Procedures) and requires technical knowledge of the measurement techniques. The final step of our quality control is always looking at all plots to ensure that no anomalies remain.


For instance, the large air quality archive contains the measurements from hundreds of monitoring stations which provide valuable comparisons for quality control. The annual mean NO2 concentrations (dotted lines) from this archive broadly follow the trend for the AURN UK national monitoring network (solid lines). The concentrations for Roadside and Urban Background monitoring stations have now, on average, declined below the National Air Quality Standard of 40 µg m-3. A similar decrease is shown for the Gravimetric PM10 annual means. Note that most NO2 and PM10 monitoring stations do not belong to the AURN.



While the average NO2 is now below the National Air Quality Standard, many monitoring stations exceeded the standard during 2013. Comparing measurements with nearby locations is an essential stage of our quality control.



We also use performance targets derived from the Technical Guidance LAQM TG(09) and the LAQM annual reporting cycle. These set an annual data capture target of 90% and deadlines for reporting the results. Our targets are therefore set to maximise the data capture while meeting the Data Quality Objectives and provide the results early within the reporting cycle.


·         Annual Data Capture target of at least 90%

·         Reporting the air quality statistics each quarter by the end of the following month and annually by the end of the following February


The two plots below show that for our air quality networks, on average, we continue to meet the data capture and reporting targets.



Contact Us

We have more than 30 years experience collecting, processing, validating and publishing measurements from automatic ambient air quality monitoring stations.

Contact us if you would like more information or want to join our growing air quality network.