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Air Quality Management Area declared in Inverness

City centre of Inverness will become an AQMA next week after monitoring found nitrogen dioxide levels above national limits

The city centre of Inverness is to become an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) after Highland councillors agreed to the formal declaration at a meeting yesterday evening (September 2).

Highland councils City of Inverness Area Committee yesterday considered a report which detailed monitoring of nitrogen dioxide levels along Queensgate and Union Street.

The Inverness AQMA qill come into force from September 9 2014

The Inverness AQMA qill come into force from September 9 2014

The monitoring and assessments of NO2 in 2013 at 16 passive diffusion tube sites found that the highest annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentration recorded at one site to be 46.3 ugm3.

This exceeds the national annual average air quality objective of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre (ugm3).

According to the council, implementing an AQMA in the city centre would provide added impetus for improving the road network in this part of the city.

The AQMA will officially come into effect next week (September 9), after which Highland council will be expected to carry out a Further Assessment and to produce an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) within the following 12-18 months.

In addition, the report considered by councillors yesterday recommends that the council continues monitoring nitrogen dioxide at the existing locations, as well as expanding the network to include Queensgate at varying levels if possible.

The report states: There may be specific grant funding available from the Scottish Government that could support the development of additional monitoring sites.

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