A data audit by Friends of the Earth has revealed the top ten sites across England that have breached the annual Air Quality Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels, which are set to protect health.
According to Friends of the Earth, the leading cause of NO2 pollution is emissions from road traffic, which is also a huge source of climate-wrecking emissions.
Friends of the Earth say they are campaigning to remove polluting vehicles from the road and clean up transport – to fight the climate crisis and to protect public health.
Although the most recent data shows a marginal improvement from previous years, there is still a number of locations exceeding the Air Quality Objective, which Local Authorities have to achieve.
Some places show very high levels of exposure (up to 144% above the objective).
England locations ranked by annual average level of NO2 (in ug/m3). The Annual Air Quality Objective is set at 40ug/m3.
Chideock Hill, West Dorset 97.7
Station Taxi Rank, Sheffield 91.7
North Street Clock Tower, Brighton 90.8
Neville Street Tunnel, Leeds 88
Strand, City of Westminster 88
Walbrook Wharf, City of London 87
Hickleton opp Fir Tree Close, Doncaster 86
Marylebone Road, City of Westminster 85
Euston Road, London Borough of Camden 82.3
Hickleton, John O’Gaunts, Doncaster 82
Simon Bowens, clean air campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Failing to fix air pollution costs lives. It also shows a failure to address the climate crisis because the sources and solutions are intrinsically linked. If ministers want to avoid a return to the health-damaging and illegal levels of air pollution we had before lockdown, their enthusiasm for ‘active travel’ needs to be a permanent switch and not just a short-term gap plugger.
“The government must also end its damaging fixation on building more roads. You can’t justify this by planning to phase out polluting petrol and diesel vehicles and replace them with electric ones. We need to go much further than just getting out of one type of car and into another. Investment in better cycling and walking should be part of a fair and green post-coronavirus economic recovery plan aimed at creating a cleaner, fairer future.”