A musician living near a busy Oxford road believes fumes from car exhausts are seriously affecting her health.

Sue Smith, 59, put up posters on the boarded-up Fox and Hounds pub at the corner of Abingdon Road and Weirs Lane earlier this month urging commuters to use the bypass, rather than Donnington Bridge Road and Weirs Lane — one of the city’s busiest rush hour routes.

The posters also encourage motorists to walk or cycle to work.

But she admits her appeal has had little effect.

Mrs Smith, who lives in Peel Place, off Weirs Lane, said: “The traffic is bumper-to-bumper every morning and every night.

“The pollution leaves a fine layer of soot over everything. I’ve been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and asthma, and many people’s health is suffering.”

Alan Harris, 80, of Weirs Lane, added: “It’s terrible during the rush hour, but it’s hard for commuters.

“They are always looking for the quickest route.”

Neighbour James Webb, 74, said the closure of High Street a decade ago to daytime traffic had exacerbated the problem.

He said: “It’s ridiculous. It has got worse and worse over the past 30 years.”

Gillian Taylor, 70, who lives opposite Mr Webb, said: “The exhaust fumes get right in your throat.”

Oxford City Council said nitrogen dioxide levels at the Abingdon Road end of Weirs Lane varied between 42 and 48mg/m3 – exceeding the annual mean air quality objective of 40 mg/m.

A report on the pollution levels is due to go before the council’s executive board next month.

Peter Mann, Oxfordshire County Council’s assistant head of transport, said: “Historically, there has always been a heavy flow from the Abingdon Road through to Headington, via Donnington Bridge Road and Weirs Lane.

“In recent years, it’s benefited from the introduction of the X13 bus service from Abingdon, which now also serves Redbridge park and ride more directly.

“There’s also a dedicated cycle track and cycle lane for most of its length.

“Our plans to tackle congestion and further promote walking and cycling, for Donnington Bridge/Weirs Lane, and across the city and county, include further parking controls in Headington and East Oxford, reducing parking in Iffley Road, and completing a scheme in London Road to make bus travel more reliable.”

Plans are also in had to introduce new crossings for pedestrians at the Iffley Road end of Donnington Bridge Road.

County council figures showed an average 12,577 vehicle journeys over Donnington Bridge in 1998.

The following year, after the closure of High Street, the number jumped to 14,192.

But traffic dropped to 13,121 in 2007 and 12,798 last year.