EFFORTS to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in Windsor and Maidenhead have been hampered by increased transport emissions over five years.

The latest data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has revealed that CO2 emissions from freight and passenger transport rose by 1.7% between 2011 and 2016 - with

traffic responsible for 47.4% of the total amount of carbon dioxide released in the area in 2016.

Total CO2 emissions fell by 14.8% over the five years in Windsor and Maidenhead - but the rise in traffic pollution reflected a trend across the country as people buy larger cars that are less fuel efficient.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund UK, said: "We’re aping the American market and more drivers are switching to unnecessarily large vehicles with greater carbon emissions. Bigger vehicles tend to be less efficient on fuel use."

Jason Torrance, a transport expert at UK100, a network of local governments committed to promoting clean energy, called on the Government to take urgent action to tackle transport emissions.

He said: "There is £78.5 billion of planned government spend on transport infrastructure in England to essentially increase road capacity. That will worsen the problem rather than decarbonising or tackling air pollution."

In Windsor and Maidenhead, households accounted for 29.9% of CO2 emissions.