Over one thousand locations across England are in breach of the air pollution limits, according to a new data audit conducted by Friends of the Earth.
Friends of the Earth analysed data from air pollution monitoring sites across the country and found that 1,360 sites were in breach of the annual Air Quality Objective for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
The Air Quality Objective, which local authorities have to achieve, sets a limit of 40ug/m3 for NO2 pollution.
The most polluted areas were Chideock Hill in West Dorset that averaged at 97.7ug/m3, followed by Station Taxi Rank in Sheffield at 91.7ug/m3 and then North Street Clock Tower in Brighton at 90.8ug/m3.
Although this data shows a marginal improvement from last years audit, which showed that 1,591 locations were in breach of the limit, Friends of the Earth have said that this data is still shocking.
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.’
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