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Air Pollution Forecast

Low Forecast icon Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2022
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Air Quality in Thurrock

Thurrock lies to the east of London and is located in the far south of Essex. The River Thames marks Thurrock’s southern boundary, the river runs all the way across the borough. The area covers approximately 64 square miles (166 Km2). More than half its area is defined as green belt land. Thurrock’s population is estimated to be around 150,000 people.

Much of the area situated around the riverfront is of mixed Industrial and Residential use, this area is also the most populated, the North is more rural the A13 runs through the middle from east to west, it defines the border between the more urban south and more rural North. Historically there has been a lot of Industry along the River. Today Thurrock is home to no less than 4 major fuel storage depots, Tilbury Power Station, Tilbury Docks, some large industrial processes such as Coryton Refinery, Proctor & Gamble. In Total Thurrock has 77 Part B processes, 1 A2 process these are regulated by Thurrock Council, it also has over 11 A1 (large scale processes) which are regulated by the Environment Agency.

Despite the presence of large scale Industry, the vast majority of air quality problems are caused by road vehicle emissions, principally nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10). Unfortunately Thurrock is situated along some very busy transport and commuter routes, such as the M25, A13, A128, A126, A1089 and A1306.

Thurrock currently has 15 Air Quality Management Areas or (AQMAs), all of these are declared from the result of road transport, primarily for NO2, all the AQMAs are declared for NO2 and four of them include PM10 as well. The mix of residential and industry along these transport routes creates air quality issues. A lot of the poor air quality is generated by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) that pass through the borough, these produce a lot of PM10 and NO2 from their diesel engines and from brake and tyre wear. Thurrock Council currently operates over 35 passive diffusion tube samplers which monitor for NO2, it also operates 4 continuous monitoring stations, all of which monitor NO2, three of the stations monitor for PM10, 1 monitors for PM2.5, two monitor for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and one of them also monitors for ozone (O3).

Thurrock has seen some of its areas improve for air quality over the years but in other areas the changes are not so positive. Generally air quality is not improving at the rate which was predicted, in recent year the trends have flattened and may be increasing for some pollutants, this is because the benefits achieved by having ever cleaner more efficient motor vehicles coming onto the roads, this is then offset by the increasing numbers of vehicles put onto roads, this is why levels have seen little change in recent years.

Read and comment on the new Thurrock Air Quality and Health Strategy:

 View and download Thurrock automatic monitoring data

Thurrock Air Quality Monitoring Data 

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