Marylebone Air Quality
18 October 2023
Last month, a report was published into local air quality, following extensive monitoring across the area, and commissioned by the Marylebone Forum. The study was funded by Marylebone and Regent’s Park Ward budgets – a resource that Westminster Councillors can use to support local issues and priorities – and led by a steering group including representatives from the Portman and Howard de Walden estates and resident amenity group St Marylebone Society as well as BakerStreetQ. It summarises all the air quality data collected within Marylebone and its environs up to March 2023, providing a useful evidence base to inform the aims and aspirations for the Forum’s future activities.
Air quality is a top priority for residents and in our annual survey and through discussions with businesses, we know is a deep concern for those that work in the area too. The report, which focused on two pollutants – Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) – used data from air quality monitors positioned close to major roads as well as in ‘background’ locations, combined with Breathe London monitors, separately commissioned by local councillors, close to local schools.
The results show that there has been a marked improvement in Marylebone’s air quality over recent years, with concentrations of NO2 and PM2.5 declining considerably, now meeting the UK targets for both. This will likely be due to the move to cleaner buses and taxis and the introduction of ULEZ. Initial improvements to air quality were captured as part of the Baker Street Two Way monitoring and we can now see that a pattern of improvement in the area has continued. There is still some way to go to reach WHO guidelines, but the report recommends that this will be helped by further initiatives such as supporting the transition to small electric vehicles, encouraging properties to switch away from gas and oil heating systems, commercial kitchens improving venting systems, and to protect and enhance open spaces.
The Marylebone Forum is made up of local residents and non-residential stakeholders such as business owners, the estates (Portman and Howard de Walden) and BIDs (BakerStreetQ, Marble Arch, Harley Street and NWEC). The Forum works to identify ways to make this area even better, looking at priorities, issues and challenges, and uses its influence to support applications for Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding projects as well as developing a neighbourhood plan for the area.
You can view more air quality data for the area by visiting Westminster City Council’s air quality dashboard.