Dorset village worst for pollution on Friends of the Earth index

A queue off traffic in Chideock Hill which is lined with thatched cottages

The rural village of Chideock in Dorset is the worst place in England for exceeding nitrogen dioxide pollution levels, according to Friends of the Earth.

The environmental campaign group said 1,360 sites in England breached the annual Air Quality Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels.

In the list of locations ranked by annual average level of NO2, Chideock Hill came top at 97.7ug/m3. The target is set at 40ug/m3.

  1. Chideock Hill, West Dorset 97.7
  2. Station Taxi Rank, Sheffield 91.7
  3. North Street Clock Tower, Brighton 90.8
  4. Neville Street Tunnel, Leeds 88
  5. Strand, City of Westminster 88

The data is from the most recent local authority Air Quality Annual Status Reports (ASRs) submitted to government.

Villagers in Chideock have long campaigned for a bypass and in 2010 they staged a protest by repeatedly pressing the button on a pedestrian crossing to stop traffic.

Plans to re-route the A35 around Chideock were approved in the early 1990s but the scheme was shelved when the government withdrew funding.