Glasgow trends

Nitrogen Dioxide levels at Glasgow monitoring sites, 1987-2022
No2 Glasgow 1987 2022Click to expand

The chart above shows trends in the annual mean concentration of NO2 recorded at monitoring sites in Glasgow since 1987. Recorded concentrations of this air pollutent have been reducing over the last decade and, in 2022, there were no recording sites that breached the annual mean Air Quality Strategy (AQS) objective for NO2(40μg/m3).

There was a notable reduction in NO2 concentrations at most sites in 2020 followed by a rise again in 2021. This is likely to be at least partly attributable to the reduction in traffic during the early phases of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was followed by traffic levels returning almost to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.


The main effect of breathing in raised levels of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) is the increased likelihood of respiratory problems. Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.

The Air Quality in Scotland site provides up-to-date estimates of air quality from monitoring sites across Scotland.

The Scottish Government's air quality policy: Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 - Towards a Better Place for Everyone

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into force in Glasgow City Centre on 1 June 2023. This means all vehicles entering the city centre zone need to meet specific pollution emission standards or face a penalty charge. There are further details on the Glasgow LEZ in this blog.

This page was updated in July 2023.

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