Air Quality Monitoring


Over the last few months, due to the lack of air quality monitoring being carried out in the area by CBC, and with growing concerns over traffic congestion and pollution in general, TRRA have been carrying out community wide air quality monitoring using nitrogen dioxide detecting diffusion tubes

Monitoring tube in place

The tubes were supplied via Friends of the Earth and were analysed by a certified laboratory at Gradko International who manufacture and analyse the majority of testing equipment used by organisations across the country.

Five monitoring locations were used based upon local knowledge of traffic hotspots and recent / proposed development with tubes being changed on a monthly basis.

The results from the last six months are as follows:

This table shows both the raw data and bias corrected data for each location where available. The results from the diffusion tubes require calibration and adjusting alongside government figures. This is called a bias adjustment. The results are adjusted for accuracy using a bias correction factor for the type of diffusion tube used. This is involves multiplying the results by 0.89.

A graphical representation of the bias adjusted figures shows a general trend of increasing levels at all five sites over the monitoring period:

Whilst no sites are currently likely to breach the established “danger” limit of 40µg/m3 (taken as an average over a year)  the recorded levels are higher than might be expected for a “semi-rural” suburb and are, in certain cases, higher than levels being recorded at acknowledged problem locations in the centre of Cheltenham.

The developments at Grovefield Way, new care home, Blenheim Villas, new offices next to Asda and the Park and Ride extension for the Cyber Park have not even started / opened yet.

It is a situation we can only see getting worse particularly when “destination” development is being allowed in the area and infrastructure is already unable to cope e.g. Arle Court roundabout will be at over 200% capacity based upon currently permissioned development.

Further background information about air quality and its effects are available in the FoE publication below:

Useful information to support your diffusion tube results


2 thoughts on “Air Quality Monitoring”

  1. Thanks to all for the diligent work. It’s certainly a concern.
    Are there any plans to do a similar exercise for noise? Mike M

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