Partners Cities: Coventry
Background Information about the City
Coventry is an historic city situated in the centre of England. Along with six other Local Authorities it forms a part of the West Midlands Group. In the past it has been a largely industrial city that developed with the growth of first the bicycle and then the car industries. Coventry currently has 350,000 inhabitants and is undergoing a period of regeneration.
On the whole Coventry has a good road transport system and industrial emissions in the City have been decreasing over the last decades so there are few air quality problems. Air pollution problems that have been identified are at three "hot spots" in the City where traffic congestion causes levels of nitrogen dioxide to exceed the UK Air Quality Objectives. However, air quality monitoring in these areas has shown that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide have been increasing in the last 3 years and it is likely that more locations where nitrogen dioxide exceeds the UK objectives will be identified in the future.
Air quality in the UK is managed through the implementation of the National Air Quality Strategy, which is overseen by The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). DEFRA are responsible for national air quality. Under the Strategy local air quality management is the responsibility of the local authority who must assess and monitor pollution in their area, developing action plans for improvements where the UK air quality objectives are not met. The local authority is responsible for consulting with neighbouring authorities and other interested bodies such as the Highways Agency, who are responsible for major roads and motorways, and the Environment Agency.
In Coventry Local Air Quality Management is the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Team of the City Services Directorate of Coventry City Council.
Coventry has one air quality unit owned by DEFRA, which forms part of the national automated network. This site is located in the War Memorial Park and monitors urban background air quality. It also houses benzene tubes as part of the national non-automated hydrocarbon network. Coventry City Council has seven other automatic air quality monitoring stations sited at roadsides in various parts of the city. All of these monitor for nitrogen dioxide, five also contain monitors for particulates and some also monitor ozone and carbon monoxide. Coventry also has a network of nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes.
Planned Activities and Expected Results
The CITEAIR project aims to provide guidance on disseminating information on air quality to the public and decision-makers. This should be of benefit in the design of Coventry City council's air quality web site, on which we aim to provide advice and up to date information on air quality in the city. Coventry is also looking for solutions to the air quality problems in the city and we hope to benefit from the guidance provided by the project and the knowledge of other cities participating in the project.