Renfrewshire Council

Air quality in Renfrewshire

Local Air Quality Management (LAQM)

Air pollution can cause harmful effects on human health and the natural and built environment. There are numerous sources of air pollutants including industry, transport, commercial and domestic sources. Whilst there have been considerable improvements in air quality over the last 60 years through regulation and concerted action on these sources, air pollution continues to affect certain areas of the UK.

In accordance with the Environment Act 1995, local authorities have a statutory duty to regularly review, assess and report on air quality within their area, a process termed Local Air Quality Management (LAQM).

LAQM is designed to identify exceedences of statutory air quality objectives which have been set by the Scottish Government and to enable local authorities to implement action plans to improve air quality within their area.

Communities, Housing and Planning manage this process in Renfrewshire by:

  • maintaining a network of air quality monitoring sites;
  • annually reviewing and assessing air quality and submitting reports to the Scottish Government;
  • declaring Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where necessary; and
  • developing and implementing action plans detailing how air quality objectives will be met in AQMAs.

Air quality in Renfrewshire

Whilst air quality as a whole in Renfrewshire is good, the levels of nitrogen dioxide within certain areas sometimes exceed the statutory air quality objective level. Air Quality Management Areas have therefore been declared covering these areas in Paisley town centre, Johnstone High Street and Renfrew town centre. Road vehicle emissions are a main source of these pollutants and the areas of exceedences are all located at busy roads and junctions.

An updated Renfrewshire Air Quality Action Plan was published at the beginning of 2019. This plan sets out measures the Council will take forward to help improve air quality throughout Renfrewshire. Some measures are specific to a particular Air Quality Management Area and some are generic measures which will offer Renfrewshire wide air quality improvements. Priorities include tackling emissions caused by congestion, promoting low emissions transport and encouraging active travel alternatives.

By implementing this Action Plan the Council is striving to meet statutory air quality objectives and support the improvement of air quality within Renfrewshire as a whole. This is integral to the Council's Local Outcome Improvement Plan, supporting the aim to make Renfrewshire a fairer, more inclusive place where all our people, communities and businesses thrive. 

The 'related documents' section of this page contains links to maps of the Air Quality Management Areas and the most recent LAQM reports including the Renfrewshire Air Quality Action Plan.

If you require previous air quality reports please contact Communities, Housing & Planning on the contact details below.

Air quality monitoring

Monitoring of local air quality is an integral part of the Local Air Quality Management process. Communities, Housing and Planning currently operate five automatic monitoring stations within Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew.

Further information on these sites including current pollutant levels can be found on the Scottish Government's air quality website with the link provided in the 'Related links' section of this page.

In addition to the automatic monitoring stations the council also maintains a network of nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes located throughout the council area.