The resulting Air Quality Strategic Framework, published in June 2020, is based on a robust, risk-based approach to reducing air quality impacts. The framework details a series of recommendations based around three key themes:

  • Monitoring: establishing a programme to measure concentration of pollutants, the emissions from various sources within the rail environment, and ensure improvements. 
  • Modelling: improving our ability to understand risks at national and local levels.
  • Mitigation: ensuring appropriate and effective measures are identified and adopted to reduce emissions and mitigate any adverse air quality impact.

The industry has committed to reporting progress annually. An update to the Air Quality Strategic Framework will be published by the end of 2021.

Air Quality Research

Based on the Air Quality Strategic Framework, RSSB has set up a research programme, known as Clean Air Research (CLEAR), which involves a range of projects to measure air quality on the rail network, and to gain a better understanding of rail’s contribution to pollution levels in Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and Clean Air Zones (CAZs). These projects are designed to support the industry by establishing a ‘baseline’ from which improvement measures can be implemented and evaluated.