HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition calling for the council to introduce a "clean air zone" to tackle "illegal" levels of air pollution in the city.

The petition urges Brighton and Hove City Council to take action to address pollution levels across the city, which exceed national air quality standards.

Adrian Hill, the petition's creator, suggests the council should implement an ultra-low emission zone in the city, and cited recent examples in London and Birmingham which reported a 45 per cent and 20 per cent drop in air pollution respectively.

He said: "I suffer from asthma and I have felt that my life has been at risk. I woke up in the morning a few years ago not being able to breathe after I had been walking up and down some of the most polluted parts of the city and commuting into work by foot by the busiest and most polluted roads in Brighton.

"I'm hoping health can be improved by improving air quality - the science is very strong between poor health and air quality and that link has become stronger in the last few years."

A 2019 air quality status report by the council found that nitrogen dioxide and airborne pollutants brought forward 175 deaths in the city.

Adrian says that the zone would help discourage ownership of the most polluting vehicles by charging a fee upon entering the zone, with funds raised going towards improving zero emission transport and upgrading vehicles to improve air quality and lower emissions.

He said: "It would discourage the ten per cent of the most polluting vehicles and the ones most responsible for around 40 to 50 per cent of pollution. For instance, a diesel vehicle from ten years ago will emit between ten and 15 times the amount of nitrogen dioxide compared to a petrol vehicle from ten years ago.

"There are cities such as Bath, Birmingham, Southampton and Portsmouth and I am worried those toxic vehicles from those cities are going to be sold to residents in Brighton if we don't bring a clean air zone in soon - and that might already be happening."

229 people have so far signed the petition, which runs until March 14 next year.

The calls come after research environmental group Friends of the Earth found that the area around the Clock Tower in Brighton is the third-worst location in England for nitrogen dioxide pollution.

The petition says that air pollution exceeds legal standards across many roads in the centre of the city, as well as in areas near busy roads from Portslade to Rottingdean. It adds that "every inch of Brighton and Hove suffers air pollution above new World Health Organisation guidelines, with the worst affected areas many times those recommended levels."

The petition can be found by searching 'Brighton and Hove council clean air zone petition' on Google.

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