AIR pollution across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has been described as "concerning" following figures which show many postcodes have levels higher than limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

A report by The Central Office of Public Interest shows Wallisdown Road has a nitrogen dioxide reading of 17.63mcg/m3. The limit is 10mcg/m3.  

Nitrogen dioxide can cause damage to the human respiratory system and increase a person's vulnerability to, and the severity of, respiratory infections and asthma. 

Read more: What BCP Council is doing to reduce air pollution

The road also exceeds the limits on PM2.5, particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which can penetrate deeply into the lung, irritate and corrode the alveolar wall, and consequently impair lung function as well as PM10. 

PM10 can cause coughing and wheezing, asthma attacks and bronchitis as well as high blood pressure, heart attack, strokes and premature death.

Also exceeding three WHO limits on air pollution is Poole Road in Westbourne, Christchurch Road going through Boscombe and St. Paul's Road near Asda in Bournemouth.

Read more: One in every 20 Bournemouth deaths now linked to air pollution

Cllr Chris Rigby of the Green Party said: “The levels of air pollution across the three towns is concerning. 

“The current BCP Council plans are not good enough to tackle this issue. PM2.5 and NO2 emissions can cause severe health problems and this is something we should all be concerned with. 

Cllr Rigby suggested the need for 15-minute neighbourhoods, where the majority of people’s needs can be met within a 15 minute walk or cycle.

He added: “This needs to be in conjunction with a strong backbone of public transport networks allowing people to quick, easy and cheap access to it for longer journeys.” 

Read more: Air pollution in Bournemouth higher now than pre-lockdown

Cllr Vikki Slade echoed calls for 15-minute neighbourhoods, adding: “The council have been really bad on our particulates. 

“The problem is, we are the fifth most congested place in the country. We’re more congested than places like Birmingham. 

“We haven’t done enough to bus passenger numbers. Unless we get a big move of people getting out of the car and onto the bus, or out of their car and shopping in their local high street, then we’re not going to see any change.” 

Martin Price of East Dorset Friends of the Earth said: “In the urban area, traffic is the main reason for air pollution, but inefficient gas boilers also produce a lot of nitrogen dioxide.”