Miller Goodall completes air quality assessments for projects all across the UK. Many of the assessments we have undertaken involve computer modelling of traffic flows to see the effect of vehicle emissions on local air quality.

Amongst other things, the models include data such as the average annual number of vehicles on the road network that we are interested in, the spilt between Heavy Duty Vehicles and Light Duty Vehicles, the speed of vehicles on any particular stretch of road, the width of the road and the presence of features such as road canyons which may affect the dispersion of pollutants associated with road traffic emissions. Within the models, we also verify (check) our results against local authority pollution monitoring sites and we use Defra LIDAR data to inform advanced street canyons and road gradients in the models.  

In doing this type of work, we have gathered a huge amount of information for use in future air quality assessments which we have collated in a central database. This ensures that our models and assessments are consistent across the areas we work in and are quicker to create.

The map above shows the work we have done on the nationwide database for sites in and around Lancaster where we have completed a large number of assessments. Lancaster has three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs): City of Lancaster AQMA, Carnforth AQMA and Galgate AQMA. The City of Lancaster AQMA encompasses the city centre gyratory system. Carnforth AQMA covers two roads, Market Street and part of the A6. Galgate AQMA covers a section of the A6. In 2023, Lancaster City Council stated that it was looking to revoke the Galgate and Carnforth as pollution levels have reduced and compliance annual mean objectives have been achieved since 2017. Exceedances in the City of Lancaster AQMA were still recorded in 2022.

Lancaster began as a small town developed adjacent to a Roman fort around 80 AD. As with many historic towns and cities, the roads and their layouts were not designed to cope with road traffic. Consequently, the city of Lancaster has numerous street canyons due to tall buildings on either side of narrow streets. This results in the build-up of pollution due to the recirculation of airflow. There are also several ecologically designated sites surrounding Lancaster, such as Lune Estuary which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which has necessitated assessment of the impact of emissions to air from road vehicles.  

If you have a project which may require an air quality assessment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and email