The Most Polluted Cities In The UK


 Have you ever wondered just how your city rates against some of the most polluted cities in the country? Or maybe yours is one of the most polluted cities in the UK and you are trying to organise neighbourhood or citywide programmes to help reduce the high pollution levels. Whatever the case may be, we are still faced with a pollution problem here in the UK and the World Health Organisation, WHO, says that we should all be concerned.

     Today, there are more than 40 cities and towns in the UK that have exceeded current air pollution limits which have been set by the World Health Organization. To make the WHO’s list of most polluted, a city or town must record fine-particle air pollution levels above 10 micrograms per cubic metre. More than half of the cities and towns on the WHO’s list have levels much higher than that with London, Scunthorpe, Manchester and Swansea topping the list, with Scunthorpe ranking highest at an estimated level of fine-particle air pollution at 15 micrograms per cubic metre.

Pollution Levels Are Falling

     While we are seeing some incredibly high pollution levels in many UK cities, it is important to note that some cities are seeing a reduction in their pollution levels thanks to new green initiatives set forth by the government. One of which is London, where levels fell from 17 to 11 micrograms, and Sheffield, where levels fell from 17 micrograms to 12 micrograms.

The UK cities and towns that exceeded the limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre during the WHO study:

Scunthorpe: 15

Manchester: 13

Swansea: 13

Gillingham: 13

Carlisle: 12

Chepstow: 12

Leeds: 12

Leicester: 12

Liverpool: 12

Grays: 12

Eccles: 12

Nottingham: 12

Plymouth: 12

York: 12

Prestonpans: 12

Royal Leamington Spa: 12

Sandy: 12

Sheffield: 12

Stoke-On-Trent: 12


Coventry: 11

Hull: 11

Londonderry: 11

Middlesbrough: 11

Norwich: 11

Southend-On-Sea: 11

Stockton-On-Tees: 11

Storrington: 11

Wigan: 11

The 17 cities and towns that are at the limit:

Armagh: 10

Birmingham: 10

Brighton: 10

Bristol: 10

Cardiff: 10

Eastbourne: 10

Harlington: 10

Newcastle: 10

Newport: 10

Oxford: 10

Portsmouth: 10

Preston: 10

Salford: 10

Saltash: 10

Southampton: 10

Stanford-Le-Hope: 10

Port Talbot: 10

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Ian Blackburn