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Oxfordshire residents get new air quality website

A new Oxfordshire air quality website has been launched to provide air quality monitoring and guidance across the county.

The website (www.oxonair.uk) has been created in partnership between Oxford City, Cherwell, West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, and Oxfordshire County Council, and aims to integrate all relevant air quality-related information from all district councils in Oxfordshire on one single platform.

Oxford University, U.K., August 5, 2019. An outside shot of Bodleian Library at Oxford University on a sunny day with partly cloudy skie

Across Oxfordshire in 2021, it was estimated that air pollution’s effect on mortality was equivalent to 320 early deaths and, in recent research, 91% of residents indicated that they were concerned about air quality to some degree, with 45% saying that they are ‘always’ concerned about the issue.

Cllr Mark Coleman, Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet member for environmental services and waste, said: ‘We know our residents, particularly those living close to busy roads, have concerns about air pollution and its impact on individuals’ health. This newly designed and easy to use website will provide residents with up-to-date information about their local air quality and alert them to air pollution issues.’

In March 2021, Oxford City Council successfully bid for £162,000 from the Government’s Air Quality Grant to develop an air quality community website to help raise awareness of air pollution across Oxfordshire. The platform includes several new features over the previous website, including:

• Air pollution forecasts up to five days in advance
• Air pollution alerts for Oxfordshire
• Air quality footprint calculator
• Air quality pledges for individuals
• Information on individual council air quality projects across the county

The website also continues to feature a map and real-time readings of monitoring stations across Oxfordshire including NO2, PM2.5 and PM10, as well as general advice on air quality, why it is important, and how it is monitored across the county.

The new website was created by all Oxfordshire Councils in partnership with global strategic environmental and engineering consulting company Ricardo, and Oxfordshire residents were encouraged to share their views on what features they would like to include on the website. 

It has been funded through a £162,000 grant from Government’s Air Quality Grant after a successful bid by Oxford City Council.

Councillor Anna Railton, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice, said: ‘We all know that air pollution is a problem that affects everyone, but it is especially harmful to the most vulnerable people in our society.

‘The new Oxfordshire air quality website provides even more information and guidance on air pollution, and for the first time residents will be able to sign up for alerts so they can stay up to date on pollution forecasts. I hope that this website will be a useful tool for anyone interested in air quality across the county.’

Jenny Thomas, Principal Consultant at Ricardo said: ‘Improving air quality and public health relies on access to clear, easily accessible information and data. We are delighted that the Oxfordshire councils recognise Ricardo’s globally renowned air quality expertise, and our 60-year track record in providing national, regional and local governments with trusted scientific evidence.’

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