The UK’s main automatic monitoring network provides air quality monitoring data for sites across the country.

These range from sites which are strongly affected by local pollution sources to those in remote locations.

Monitoring stations provide hourly measurements and 24 hour running mean values for various air pollutants. Real time and historical data is easily accessible.

Air pollution levels at a given location will reflect local pollution sources and background levels. The variations can be visualised on a time series graph which shows the incremental increases in pollutant concentrations across three different types of monitoring sites.

Important types of monitoring sites include:

    • Urban traffic sites: Impacted by relatively high local emission sources.
      e.g. Marylebone Rd, London
    • Urban background sites. Influenced by nearby emission sources and surrounding areas.
      e.g. North Kensington, London
    • Rural background sites. Reflect regional pollution sources.
      e.g. Harwell, Oxfordshire