City breathes easy during lockdown
By Sarah Wood | 24th July 2020
Air quality in Gloucester improved dramatically during coronavirus lockdown, says Gloucester City Council.
While figures are yet to be verified and confirmed, initial readings show a reduction of Nitrogen oxides (NOx), a vehicle pollutant, of up to 45 per cent in key areas such as Barton Street.
The trend is being seen across the UK and the globe, as people travelled less during Covid-19 restrictions. When they did travel, many left their cars at home in favour of walking or cycling. It is assumed that other pollutants will have followed a similar trend.
Cllr Richard Cook, cabinet member for environment and leader of Gloucester City Council said: "We all knew that pollution levels were significantly reduced during lockdown, and these figures provide the hard evidence and show by how much.
"Our challenge now is to work with our colleagues at Gloucestershire County Council to ensure that, when the pandemic is over, the new normal includes a reduction in vehicle use and better air quality for all of us."
Nitrogen oxides, particulates and other pollutants from vehicles are known to exacerbate health problems such as asthma and lung disease.
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