A west Dorset village has been found to have the worst air pollution in the England.

Friends of the Earth claim Chideock Hill is ranked number one for breaching air pollution limits after a data audit revealed 1,360 sites across England have breached the annual Air Quality Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels.

The leading cause of NO2 pollution is emissions from road traffic.

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.

England locations ranked by annual average level of NO2 (in ug/m3). The Annual Air Quality Objective is set at 40ug/m3.

1. Chideock Hill, West Dorset 97.7

2. Station Taxi Rank, Sheffield 91.7

3. North Street Clock Tower, Brighton 90.8

4. Neville Street Tunnel, Leeds 88

5. Strand, City of Westminster 88

6. Walbrook Wharf, City of London 87

7. Hickleton opp Fir Tree Close, Doncaster 86

8. Marylebone Road, City of Westminster 85

9. Euston Road, London Borough of Camden 82.3

10. Hickleton, John O’Gaunts, Doncaster 82

Simon Bowens, clean air campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Failing to fix air pollution cots 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.”