Monitoring Site Locations

Monitoring sites are classified according to the type of environment in which they are located. This will give a good indication of what pollutants are likely to be found here e.g. Nitrogen Dioxide if there is heavy traffic.

Typical monitoring location types are described in the table below.



Source Influences


A site within a town or city environment

Vehicle, commercial, space heating


A site sampling within 1m of the kerb of a busy road.

Local traffic


A site sampling between 1m of the kerbside of a busy road and the back of the pavement. Typically this will be within 5m of the road, but could be up to 15m.

Local traffic


A location type situated in a residential area on the outskirts of a town or city.

Traffic, commercial, space heating, regional transport, urban plume downwind of a city.

Urban Background

An urban location distanced from sources and therefore broadly representative of city-wide background conditions e.g. urban residential areas

Vehicle, commercial, space heating

Urban Centre

An urban location representative of typical population exposure in towns or city centres e.g. pedestrian precincts and shopping areas

Vehicle, commercial, space heating

Urban Industrial

An area where industrial sources make an important contribution to the total pollution burden. Intermediate. 20-30m from the kerb of a busy road.

Industrial, motor vehicles.


An open countryside location, in an area of low population density distanced as far as possible from roads, populated and industrial areas.

Regional long-range transport, urban plume.


A site in open country, located in an isolated rural area, experiencing regional background pollutant concentrations for much of the time.

Regional/hemispheric background.


20-30m from the kerb of a busy road

Vehicle, commercial, space heating.


Monitoring within the boundary of an airport perimeter.

Aircraft, vehicle, commercial, space heating.


Any special source-orientated or location category covering monitoring undertaken in relation to specific emission sources.

May be power stations, car parks or tunnels