The Brits are in a better position than inhabitants of many other European countries when it comes to air quality. It does not mean, however, that there is nothing to complain about. Check which cities in the UK are the most polluted and what actions have been taken to improve the air quality in recent years.
The UK has relatively clean air comparing to the European countries with the returning pollution problem, such as Poland, Bulgaria, or Italy. However, its quality is far from being satisfactory. As a matter of fact, most middle-sized and big cities in the United Kingdom deal with seasonal drops in air quality. In London, the smog has become a part of the urban landscape already in the XIX century, and the situation hasn’t changed much since then. However, the capital is not the only city that deals with the returning smog. The inhabitants of Manchester and Belfast also experience it relatively often.
London – is it as polluted as it used to be?
The capitals are usually the first places that come to mind when thinking about the highest national pollution levels. Overcrowded, full of traffic and industrial areas, they create perfect conditions for the smog to develop. However, it is not always the case. Let’s take, for example, Poland. The average air quality in its capital city, Warsaw, is better than in Kraków and Silesia region. The same goes for Italy – another country that notes the highest levels of air pollution in Europe every year. It’s the northern regions and Naples, not the agglomeration of Rome, that worsen the statistics.
London is definitely one of the most polluted British cities what should not come as a surprise, considering its size and the population density. Among the neighborhoods that are the most affected by pollution, there is Chelsea, East Ham, and Hackney.
A lot has changed since the XIX century when London used to be the heart of the industrial revolution. Since the tragic incident from 1952, when the toxic smog has killed thousands of Londoners, the quality of air has been gradually improving. In the last decades, numerous solutions implemented in the city have made the quality of life better.
What solutions were implemented in the UK?
In London, as well as other British cities, the modernization of public transportation is the main focus. Aside from the development of the underground and railway, the cities in the UK try to promote other forms of green transport, such as bikes. Also, electric vehicles are becoming a standard – not only in London but also in Nottingham.
In the UK, the emphasis is also put on education. Air pollution in UK is often an invisible enemy – that’s why consciousness is the key to personal protection. Keeping yourself informed has become easier with the introduction of apps updated in real-time, such as Airly.org. The sensors provide constantly updated data to the server, which allows applying the appropriate measures in time. Using it, you get the information firsthand directly on your device.