THOUSANDS of residents could be breathing dangerous levels of polluted air, according to new figures released.

Friends of the Earth, a campaign group which seeks to find solutions to environmental problems, has predicted that Basingstoke and Deane will have illegal levels of air pollution by 2019.

The charity has been calling on the government to introduce Clean Air Zones in all UK locations predicted to have illegal levels of air pollution beyond next year.

However, despite being predicted to have poor air pollution by 2019, there is no action planned by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to change this.

Head of environmental service at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Colin Rowland said: “No specific action is needed by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to meet the requirements of the government’s Air Quality Plan.

“However, we constantly review and assess air quality within our district and report these findings annually to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). We also share this data on our website.”

Mr Rowland added: “Although as a borough council we have no powers to implement changes to the road network that could assist with air quality issues, we work closely with the county council who have this responsibility.

“We also aim to improve air quality by controlling and reducing emissions from industrial processes and by carefully considering air quality and air pollution issues for each planning application.”

Friends of the Earth has found that air pollutions leads to over 4,000 early deaths in the South East every year The charity is calling on prime minister Theresa May to provide a safety net for drivers by introducing a comprehensive diesel scrappage scheme funded by a ‘diesel-gate levy’ on manufacturers.

Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, said: “The government plans appear to wash their hands of doing anything to protect thousands of people in the south east breathing dangerous air.

“This is a despicable dereliction of duty. Ministers know as well as anyone that Clean Air Zones are essential to give us breathable air fast. The fact that they have not only not failed to introduce the best measure to protect people’s health, but put in place no new measures at all, is an absolute scandal.”