In the context of recent press coverage about the impact diesel vehicles are having on nitrogen dioxide and particulate levels, less than half of UK residents (45%), in May 2017 recalled seeing, hearing or reading anything recently about air quality and its impact on health.
A slightly higher proportion (48%) could not recall recent coverage of air quality, with the remaining 7% unsure. Only in the AB social group did a majority recall recent messages on this issue (51%).
When asked about their neighbourhood (defined as the area 15-20 minutes walk from their home), only 56% of UK residents described local air quality as good or very good. 15% described their local air quality as poor, while 29% either gave a neutral response or answered don’t know.
Clear variations are evident by deprivation levels (IMD), with 44% of those living in the most deprived quartile of the UK suggesting that their local air quality is good, 22-percentage points below the 66% who give this response in the least deprived quartile. As might be anticipated, local air quality is less commonly described as good by those in urban areas (52%) relative to those in rural areas (76%).