BRIGHTON has been revealed as home to one of the country’s top road pollution hotspots.

The area around the Clock Tower in the city centre was named by environmental campaigners as the third worst location in England for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).

Friends of the Earth said levels of the pollutant, which mostly comes from traffic fumes and is linked to a number of health issues, were twice as high as they should be.

It comes after a council report found levels of NO2 had been steadily falling with pronounced improvement recorded around Queen’s Road. 

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.”

Friends of the Earth analysed local authority reports to reveal 1,360 sites across England which have breached the annual Air Quality Objective.

The Clock Tower was found to have an annual average level of 90.8 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air. The target is 40.

The Argus:

  • The Clock Tower in Brighton

The worst place was Chideock Hill, West Dorset, with 97.7, while Station Taxi Rank, Sheffield, was second with 91.7.

Friends of the Earth found there had been a small improvement on last year when 1,591 locations in England were found to be over the limit.

Mr Bowens said there needed to be more support for “active travel” methods such as cycling and walking.

He added: “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.”

Earlier this week, The Argus reported that the council’s Air Quality Status Annual Report had given Brighton and Hove a clean bill of health.

The report found that air quality monitoring stations had recorded acceptable levels of fine particle pollution in 2019, meeting World Health Organisation guidelines for the seventh year in the row.

However, the report said traffic in and out of the city centre was a major cause of pollution and this was still a concern along some busier roads.

Brighton’s new Green leaders want increased powers to be able to raise council tax further and introduce “red routes” on roads, fining drivers who cause congestion.