Two new air quality management areas declared in Harrogate district

4 October 2017

Work is set to begin on an action plan to improve air quality across the Harrogate district following the declaration of two new Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).

The AQMAs will cover York Place in Knaresborough and at the Woodlands Junction on Wetherby Road in Harrogate.

Local authorities are required to monitor air quality in their areas and to declare an AQMA where objectives set out in the National Air Quality Strategy are not being met. Results for York Place and Woodlands Junction have shown that these areas have exceeded national targets for traffic related nitrogen dioxide.

Following the declaration of an AQMA, the council has a duty to produce an Air Quality Plan for approval by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).  The purpose of the action plan is to identify appropriate measures to reduce the level of nitrogen dioxide and to improve local air quality.

Earlier this year, the council held a public consultation asking people for their views on the size of the area the AQMAs would cover and suggestions for improving local air quality that could be included in the action plan.

Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport said:

Teams from Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council will work together to produce the action plan to improve air quality across the district.

I would like to thank everyone who took part in our recent public consultation and all responses received will be considered and investigated further.  Suggestions have included looking at how we can reduce vehicle idling, promoting good driving techniques and the use of car share, encouraging the use of public and sustainable transport, and the opportunity to secure grant funding to help improve efficiency of local bus fleets.

A draft action plan will be produced within 12 months and the council will then ask residents and businesses for their views before a final plan is published.

In November 2010, AQMAs at Bond End in Knaresborough and High and Low Skellgate in Ripon were declared and an Air Quality Action Plan for these areas was adopted in 2013. The new Air Quality Action Plan will contain actions to help to improve local air quality in all four areas.

More information about the local air quality and the Air Quality Management Areas is available on the council’s website at



  1. Tim, Is this a repeat article from 2014, 2015, 2016 or what? What’s happened to the work on Bond End which Cllr Mackenzie said was going to start in August 2017 as a result of all those consultations?

  2. Comparing the daytime and evening periods there is a huge difference in traffic volumes between the two. Nothing surprising in that except that in the Harrogate District the difference between the two is far greater than anywhere else in the Country. The various traffic surveys that have been carried out will confirm this. It suggests that the problem in the Harrogate District is exclusively about managing traffic volumes during the daytime. Investment in Park and Ride and better public transport would pay great dividends in sorting out the traffic problems. However, for that to happen would require a much higher calibre of local politician and senior manager than is currently in post. Capable people would be able to show that investing in Park and Ride and public transport would save millions of pounds compared to the alternative of building more roads that will destroy the local area and won’t solve the problem

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