PROCESS EFFICIENCY AND OUTCOME EFFECTIVENESS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM’S LOCAL AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT REGIME
Free (open access)
Volume 6 (2011), Issue 3
286 - 298
J.W.S. LONGHURST, A.O. OLOWOPOROKU, J. BARNES, T.J. CHATTERTON, E.T. HAYES & J.G. IRWIN
The UK’s Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) commences with a Review and Assessment which may lead to the declaration of an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) where an exceedence of the Air Quality Objectives is confi rmed. A declaration initiates the development of Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) intended to provide solutions to the identifi ed problems. There is no doubt that the LAQM framework has delivered a clear picture of elevated air pollution at specifi c locations in the UK, defi ned in temporal and spatial scales. However, the evidence to date suggests that delivering solutions to air quality problems is much more problematic, and has not been achieved at the rate expected when the framework was introduced in 1997. Despite the national policy intention and direction provided through the framework, the probability of achieving the traffi c-related Air Quality Objectives by the set dates in the UK Regulations is uncertain. Using evidence from several studies undertaken by the authors, this paper considers the implication of distinct policy disconnects which are present in the LAQM process. The key conclusion implies transition from procedural compliance with the diagnostic process of LAQM towards a more holistic approach that will require new means of internal communication and co-operation and external consultation at the local and central government level and the ability to confront political and economic vested interest.
Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), Air Quality Objectives, Environment Act, 1995, Local Air Quality Management (LAQM)