Kidderminster is home to one of the biggest air pollution hotspots in the West Midlands, research has revealed.

The Horsefair ranked in second place in a list of the top 10 worst spots in the region for nitrogen dioxide levels, according to an air quality audit carried out by Friends of the Earth.

Research found that the busy road recorded an average level of 68.5ug/m3 of the gas, which breaches the Annual Air Quality Objective which is set at 40ug/m3.

Only St Chad's in Birmingham ranked higher.

Regionally, 125 locations across the West Midlands were found to have breached the Air Quality Objective levels, with seven located in the Wyre Forest district.

Two of those areas exceeded 60ug/m3.

Chris Crean, campaigner for West Midlands Friends of the Earth, said: “Failing to fix air pollution costs lives. It also shows a failure to address the climate crisis because the sources and solutions are intrinsically linked.

"If ministers want to avoid a return to the health-damaging and illegal levels of air pollution we had before lockdown, their enthusiasm for ‘active travel’ needs to be a permanent switch and not just a short-term gap plugger.

“The government must also end its damaging fixation on building more roads. You can’t justify this by planning to phase out polluting petrol and diesel vehicles and replace them with electric ones.

"We need to go much further than just getting out of one type of car and into another. Investment in better cycling and walking should be part of a fair and green post-coronavirus economic recovery plan aimed at creating a cleaner, fairer future.”

Wyre Forest District Council said it was aware pollution levels in the Horsefair were high, and said it is working hard to tackle the problem.

Councillor Fran Oborski, cabinet member for economic regeneration, planning and capital investments, said: “We know pollution levels in the Horsefair are high.

"Two-way traffic through Blackwell Street has always been a huge cause of air pollution and that’s one of the reasons we are working hard to bring the Churchfields Masterplan, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, to life.

“Work is currently taking place to create a new road through the Horsefair, which will help ease congestion, improve air quality and support the delivery of new homes planned for the area.”