CLEAN-air campaigners have named some of the most heavily polluted parts of Southampton.

Cranbury Place and a busy junction beside Bitterne railway station are among the worse for air quality, according to Friends of the Earth and Clean Air Southampton

Worryingly, Southampton's biggest green space, the Common, is also on the list.

All three sites are next to busy roads used by thousands of vehicles belching out toxic fumes.

New rules mean that cabbies could have to pay £12.50 a day – something taxi firms say could “kill the trade overnight”.

But council bosses have highlighted the need for a clean air zone in Southampton – one of five cities in the UK under pressure from the government to improve air quality by 2020 or face a massive EU fine.

The city needs to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from the current 42 micrograms per cubic air metre to less than 40.

In a joint statement Friends of the Earth and Clean Air Southampton said: “The government requires the council to take action because levels of nitrogen dioxide are at illegal levels, despite the fact that EU limits should have been met by 2015 at the latest.

“The government estimates that without further action NO2 in the city will still be at illegal levels in 2023.

“The effect of air pollution on health in the city is serious. Public Health England estimates that every year 110 early deaths in Southampton are attributable to air pollution, plus 97 in the New Forest.

“Air pollution hits the most vulnerable in our society the hardest, including children whose lungs may never develop properly.”

Campaigners are also worried about the impact of nitrogen oxide (NOx) on public health.