A data audit by Friends of the Earth based on pre-lockdown information has revealed 1,360 sites across England that have breached the annual Air Quality Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels.

Areas in West Dorset, Sheffield and Brighton have all been highlighted as some of the worst locations for NO2 levels in England.

Friends of the Earth is 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 (last year’s audit found 1,591 English locations breaching limits) FotE said there is still “a shocking number of locations” exceeding the Air Quality Objective, which Local Authorities have to achieve.

The data has been accessed from the most recent local authority Air Quality Annual Status Reports (ASRs) submitted to Government.

Air Quality Annual Status Reports (ASRs) are compiled using the previous year’s data. This means that in most cases the most up to date air quality data was collected in 2018, but where a local authority has submitted its ASR using 2019 data this has been reflected in the audit.

Annual data for 2020 and the impact the lockdown has had on improving air quality will be released in 2021.

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