Sandy site near A1 one of the most polluted in the UK

Air pollution

Air pollution - Credit: Archant

Air pollution near the A1 in Sandy exceeds the limit set by the World Health Organization, its new report has found.

Data shows the town is one of 31 places in the UK with fine particle air pollution levels above the recommended 10 micrograms per cubic metre – with a level of 12.

A spokesman from Central Bedfordshire Council told the Comet: “We have been monitoring air quality in Sandy since 1995 in eleven various locations. The only two sites exceeding the air quality targets are close to the kerb of the A1.

“The emissions do not spread wider, and the other sites in Sandy have much lower levels. We have considered modifications to the road but there is a lack of space.

“There is already a 50mph speed restriction on the A1 at the location which helps reduce emissions from vehicles.

“Our public protection team is working with both Highways England and our own highways department to work towards reducing air pollution concentrations in the area.”

WHO said fine air pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory infections and can also lead to strokes.

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Estimates show that seven million people die each year globally from this type of pollution.