Air pollution in Shrewsbury town centre is 15 per cent higher than the recommended safety limit set by the government, it has been revealed.
Most of the town centre including Frankwell, part of Bridge Street, Smithfield Road, Castle Gates, High Street, Wyle Cop, English Bridge and the Coleham Head gyratory, is all being monitored by Shropshire Council.
The area has been named an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ (AQMA), due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide recorded in the atmosphere from road traffic emissions.
Fixed diffusion tubes at different spots throughout the town centre have been set up to measure air quality levels – with green campaigners calling for a reduction in the volume of traffic.
A council spokeswoman confirmed readings at a diffusion tube in Castle Foregate have revealed that levels of nitrogen dioxide in the area exceed the government’s recommended hourly limit.
These currently stand at a jump from the recommended annual mean of 60mg/m3 to 68.8mg/m3.
The matter is due to be discussed further by Shrewsbury Town Council at their annual meeting on April 28.
Alan Shrank, planning representative for Shrewsbury Town Centre Residents Association, said: “Town Walls and Smithfield Road has some of the worst air pollution in the country.
“I’m asthmatic and it does not help my condition with all the diesel guzzling delivery lorries and park and ride buses pumping out fumes in the air.”
“The problem has definitely got worse over the years, with the increased through traffic in the town centre.”
Frank Oldaker, from Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth, added: “We would like to see through traffic much reduced in the town centre. We want to encourage people not to use their vehicles just to get across the town. It ruins the enjoyment of people on the high street and visitors to the area.”