Air pollution in Reading town centre exceeds three limits set by the World Health Organisation, according to a report.

Research produced by the Central Office of Public Interest suggests there are ‘very high’ levels of pollutants which have been linked to asthma, bronchitis, cancer and strokes.

Broad Street is among the top 10 percentiles of addresses with the worst air pollution in the country, the non-profit’s Air Quality Report shows.

Nitrogen Dioxide was found in the area at more than double the WHO restrictions, with is 23.48mcg per metre cubed vs a limit of 10mcg/m3.

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The level of tiny chemical and solid particulates named PM2.5 and PM10 also breached WHO guidelines.

PM2.5 was found at an annual average of 13.13mcg/m3, again more than doubling the World Health Organization’s recommendations (5mcg/m3.)

PM10 was measured at a rate of 19.70mcg/m3. The limit is 15mcg/m3.

A spokesperson for Reading Borough Council said air quality in Reading meets all current UK air quality objectives for particulate matter

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“In common with many busy towns and cities there are some areas close to congested roads where levels of nitrogen dioxide exceed air quality objectives and where levels of particulates are elevated.

“The Council is fully committed to maintaining and improving air quality across the town as we work towards our ambition of a net zero carbon Reading  by 2030.

“We continue to build on the progress made to date by consulting on and introducing measures to reduce transport emissions and encourage realistic alternatives to the private car in Reading, particularly for shorter journeys.”

The council spokesperson pointed to the creation of more pedestrian and segregated cycle routes, and new cycle parking, as well as projects like Green Park Station and the refurbished Reading West Station.

“The Council-owned Reading Buses continues to outperform most other bus companies in the UK.

“We are also in the process of consulting on the introduction of the enforcement of moving traffic offences, like blocking yellow box junctions for example, which also contribute to poor air quality through congestion.”