Celebrating 25 Years


Air Quality Consultants (AQC) is celebrating 25 years of providing expert support on air quality matters.  The Company has grown to become the largest, specialist air quality consultancy in the UK, with 29 staff supporting a wide range of public and private sector clients.  Demand has grown considerably, and AQC now completes over 500 air quality projects a year, throughout the UK and internationally, from its offices in Bristol and London. 

Chris Whall joined AQC in January 2016, and took over as Managing Director in January 2018.  He is supported by Stephen Moorcroft, who has been a Director since 2004.  Prof. Duncan Laxen, the founder of AQC, continues to provide support as an Associate.

Chris said “I feel privileged to be leading a company with a 25-year history of providing high quality consultancy to a wide range of clients in the UK and abroad.  I will be focussing on maintaining this quality and continuing our role as leaders in the field”.

The focus of the company is on providing high quality support to clients.  This is enabled by the quality of its staff; the majority of consultants have Masters or PhD qualifications.  With this level of expertise, AQC plays a central role in the development of tools and guidance to support air quality management and assessment.  A major focus in recent years has been on emissions from diesel vehicles, and AQC has developed a tool to improve estimates of current and future year emissions (more here).

AQC has also published a detailed review of trends in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide across the UK (more here). This has shown that while the UK has experienced an overall slow improvement over the last 11 years, this is not the case for all sites.  In particular, no significant trend was found for a large part of the country, covering Central and Northern England. 

There is still clearly much to be done to achieve the improvements that are required to reduce the health burden of air pollution.  In this context, AQC is helping several local authorities develop Clean Air Zones, to meet the Government’s latest requirements.  AQC is also providing policy support to the Greater London Authority, exploring options for implementing an “Air Quality Positive” approach for new developments, and developing guidance for the preparation of Air Quality Assessments.  

AQC continues to work on projects that cover the full range from a small residential block alongside a highly polluted road, to major developments involving several thousand houses.  AQC has also contributed to major infrastructure projects including Thames Tideway Tunnel, Silvertown Tunnel in London, the M4 ‘Smart’ motorway, a new port terminal at Tilbury, expansion at London City Airport and a third runway at Heathrow Airport.   Seven of AQC’s consultants have experience of giving expert evidence at Public Inquiries and DCO Hearings.

AQC has prepared an interactive Timeline which maps key developments in air quality legislation and guidance over the last 25 years, and identifies key milestones in the Company’s history (click here).