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"Government needs to step up" and tackle air pollution

Across the South West there's 121 places breaching air pollution targets, according to new research.

The A37 at Temple Cloud in Somerset has the second highest nitrogen dioxide level in the region.

The Air Balloon roundabout in Gloucestershire, Bristol's Ashley Road and Newfoundland Way, Chideock's Main Street in West Dorset and the A38 at Dean Prior in Devon's South Hams make the top 10.

Cornwall's Quay Road in Tideford topped the list.

Mike Birkin, South West campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: "It's unforgivable to see so many locations across the region over air quality limits, leaving thousands of us breathing dangerously polluted air.

"Air pollution is often an issue thought of as affecting only the biggest cities. 

"The reality is that unacceptably toxic air can be found across much of the UK. even in smaller towns. 

"It is harming the health of people across the country and is especially bad for young children whose lungs are still developing.

"The government needs to step up and do more to deal with this air pollution crisis  - they can't just carry on leaving the difficult decisions with local authorities, many of which are severely under-resourced.

"With toxic air above limits affecting huge swathes of the UK, Friends of the Earth is campaigning for Clean Air Zones to be rolled out in far more places than are currently being planned, supported by measures such as improved infrastructure to support safe cycling and walking. 

"This would see fewer polluting vehicles on our roads and would ultimately improve public health. 

"Removing such vehicles would also contribute to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change."

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