A ROW has erupted over claims air pollution levels in some parts of Rochford and Rayleigh are above the legal limit - and dangerous to residents.

A £1,080 study into air quality, funded by 13 concerned members of the Rochford District Residents party, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, found areas of Spa Road and Main Road in Hockley breaching EU regulations.

The councillors claim that air quality in London Road, in Rayleigh, almost breached the limit, with Eastwood Road, London Road near Sweyne Park and Glebe School and Lower Road Hullbridge, close behind.

According to European Union law, an area should not exceed 40ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) of nitrogen dioxide - a level which was breached in Spa Road and Main Road.

However, a separate survey carried out by Rochford District Council claim EU limit guidelines were not breached.

Mr Mason said: “We have the raw results and they cause general concern because there are locations exceeding the danger level.

“Other locations show pollution levels are still a cause for concern even if the danger level has not been reached.

“We held this survey over a 12-month period and we did so to ensure that we got a significant average pollution reading for each of the areas.

“The results are incredible and very, very worrying.

“The survey has shown that if people are walking around Rochford than they are being subjected to pollution that is above the legal limit.”

However Rochford District Council’s survey contradicts those claims - and suggests pollution levels are going down.

Louise Moss, Rochford District Council’s assistant director for the community and housing, said: “We are pleased to confirm that all nitrogen dioxide monitoring locations within the Air Quality Management Area in Rayleigh are compliant with the national target.

“We have every confidence in our approach to air quality monitoring and are pleased to see that levels of nitrogen dioxide are reducing. We hope to see this positive trend continue.”