A HAMPSHIRE council has been named by the government as having ‘concerning air quality levels’.

The Environment Agency has named Fareham Borough Council as one of 30 councils in the UK which have excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide, breaching the EU Commissions limit.

Now the Governmental body has said that the council needs to look into how it can curb its pollution levels to improve air quality.

Council leader Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council said: “Fareham has concerning levels of pollution particularly at peak times around the Station Road Roundabout and the A27 in the town centre where traffic constantly builds up.

“Plans are being put in place to undertake such a study and to report back to the executive with a clear plan of action.”

The council previously set up two air quality management areas (AQMAs) in West Street and Portland Street in Fareham town centre and the Redlands district of Fareham near Newgate Lane ten years ago to monitor pollution, however, these have been branded as a failure by air quality campaigners.

But Tim Pratt, co-ordinator of Fareham and Gosport Friends of the Earth, said: “The AQMAs have been in place for ten years However, the pollution has worsened.

“The most effective option is the Clean Air Zones. However, the council have their hands tied by the government to a certain extent.

“I welcome the feasibility study which will be undertaken but we need to wait to find out the full details.”

John Vivian, from the Parish Ecology Group, who are campaigning for better air quality in Fareham said: “We need to badger our representatives to do something about the pollution in our towns and cities and to raise awareness of the issues that air pollution can bring.

“Something has to be done to address this issue, so instead of pandering to the motor vehicles that are contributing to the air we breathe, proper answers need to given to make sure that air pollution and climate change is addressed properly and effectively.”

As previously reported, the Ecology Group held several protests in the town centre in June to address concerns that the town has poor air quality posing a severe risk to lung health.

Plans for the study are expected to be presented to the council executive in the next few months.

The fears also follow news that Southampton was ranked as one of the UK’s most toxic and polluted cities by the government along with London, Birmingham, Derby, Leeds and Nottingham.

Southampton health chiefs said pollution was responsible for 110 deaths in the city each year and is estimated to cost the local NHS £50 million annually.

Cllr Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council said: “The quality of the air we breathe is an issue which affects everybody that lives in the city.”