A COMMUNITY'S battle against its reputation for smog moved forward a step yesterday when its latest air quality monitoring station was launched.

Middlesbrough Borough Council's third station was unveiled in the town centre by councillor Ken Hall, commissioner for the environment.

It will measure air pollution from traffic, as exhaust emissions are recognised as being the town's greatest source of pollution. The council is confident that its traffic management plans will clean up the environment, and believes the new station will enhance its ability to keep a check on the situation.

Coun Hall said: "Like all councils, we have carried out a statutory review and assessment of our air quality.

"From this, we told the Government that we are confident Middlesbrough will meet national air quality health standards across the whole town.

"Our existing environmental policies should see traffic pollution levels gradually drop, and the new air quality monitoring station will provide firm evidence to support our assessment.

"We are taking active steps to encourage movement into and around the town by walking, cycling and using public transport."