OXFORD residents are being warned there could be a further increase in air pollution levels today.

The city council’s air monitoring stations yesterday recorded a rise in pollution from a low level in the morning to a moderate reading of four out of 10 by the afternoon.

It is thought to have been caused by easterly winds bringing in pollutants from Europe, local air pollution and dust blown up from the Sahara Desert.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) warned people to take precautions after an increase in reports of sore eyes, coughs and sore throats.

Oxford City Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “Defra has warned of the potential for high air pollution levels over the coming days.

“People with asthma, lung and heart disease have been warned to avoid strenuous physical activity, particularly outside.”