Nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant emitted from car exhausts which causes ill health and premature deaths, has been measured in parts of Southampton at an average 50% higher than the annual 'limit'.
Data was collected on April 13, 2016 for pressure group Clean Air Southampton by a zero emission testing vehicle dubbed 'The Smogmobile'.
It tested for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10) as it travelled on key routes around Southampton.
The Smogmobile's journey included going through Bitterne Park ward – up Bullar Road, down Cobden Avenue, and then over Cobden Bridge through St Denys to Portswood. You can read in detail about the route here.
Click graphic for larger version
Data was geotagged to show NO2 levels on the route taken, and the results are shown above.
The managing director of Enviro Technology, which supplied the Smogmobile said: “Our observations show that the average NO2 concentration over the day (between 8am to 3:30pm) of all the routes we drove and during the time we were parked up at West Quay was 63.15 µg/m3, which is over 50% higher than the annual limit value of 40 µg/m3.”
Labour, which currently controls the council, recently launched a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for Southampton, and the Conservatives pledged earlier in the year to “look to introduce a local CAZ as soon as possible”. Both parties have stressd their plans won't affect private cars.
Campaigners have said this is an “urgent health issue” and more needs to be done sooner.
In the news
MPs: UK air pollution is a 'public health emergency - Guardian 27/4/2016
More polluting vehicle charge zones needed, say MPs - BBC 27/4/2016
Clean Air Zone launched – but does it go far enough?
Video: Pollution in Southampton - 'We really must now act'