York’s air quality improves by 30% during coronavirus lockdown

Some areas saw a reduction in nitrogen dioxide concentrations of as much as 43% compared to ‘business as usual’ figures

The Big Zero report

York’s air quality has improved by 30% during the coronavirus lockdown.

That’s according to leading air quality expert Dr David Carslaw, who analysed data collected by City of York Council – he found some areas saw a reduction in nitrogen dioxide concentrations of as much as 43% compared to ‘business as usual’ figures.

Councillor Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for the Environment and Climate Change, said: “We all have a responsibility to improve York’s air quality and this is an issue we have prioritised here in York, from launching the UK’s first voluntary Clean Air Zone, to investing in electric charging points across the city.

“Of course, the impact of the Coronavirus lockdown has had a significant impact on air quality in the city, as many have stuck to the government’s social distancing guidance. However, the council has invested in a number of measures in recent years to help improve air quality in York and we will continue to do so for the benefit of our communities.”

The economic slowdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in global carbon emissions falling by a quarter.

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