Like all local authorities in the UK, we are required to review and assess air quality according to the government's environmental policy - in particular Appendix 5 of this document.

In order to meet our statutory obligations, the council performs a periodic review and assessment of ambient Portsmouth air according to  DEFRA's guidance, which combines monitoring with dispersion modelling at air pollution hotspots. To achieve this, we monitor air quality with the help of four monitoring stations at key locations across the city which provide us with real-time air quality monitoring data.

In Portsmouth, the main pollutants which may impact on human health are principally the products of combustion from road  traffic - mainly nitrogen dioxide.

There are currently five Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) predicted to exceed the annual nitrogen dioxide National Air Quality Objective (NAQO) - their locations are represented in red on the 'AQMA Locations' map, available in the documents section below.

Portsmouth's latest Annual Statement Report on air quality is also available below, along with a summary document detailing the locations of our monitoring sites, and results.

Air pollution queries

Please contact us with any air pollution-related queries or comments by email at or alternatively, phone City Help Desk on 023 9283 4167.

No vehicle idling

Motorists can immediately reduce their unnecessary air-pollution foot print by turning their engine off when stationary. It is common for some motorists to leave their engine on when they stop to:

  • drop their children off / pick them up at school, or run a quick errand
  • talk with a friend, or on the phone
  • queue at a drive-through restaurant or car park, or to board a ferry
  • warm up the car, or wait for a fare (taxi drivers)

We have identified the need to campaign against idling engines in the Air Quality Action Plan in a bid to reduce unnecessary road traffic-related air pollution.

By adopting and enforcing regulations provided under the Road Vehicles Construction and Use Act and the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 we aim to help improve local air quality.

To find out more about what we are doing to improve air quality and what you can do to help, visit My Journey Portsmouth

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