As we mark the 50 anniversary of Earth Day, we are reporting a noticeable drop in air pollution levels in the first two weeks following the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The most recent data taken from the Council’s monitoring station in Leamington Spa shows that that background concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are lower overall than those measured prior to the lockdown. Whilst this data must be reviewed and verified in combination with the annual roadside monitoring figures to establish the overall effect of the reduction in traffic volumes, the Council is optimistic that if obvious improvements can be made to air quality in such a short period this could result in permanent behavioural changes.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment & Business, Councillor Alan Rhead commented;
“The Council’s overwhelming priority is to support local businesses and vulnerable communities through these difficult times. Part of that support is planning for the recovery. If nothing else this crisis has underlined how (enforced) behaviour change can produce significant benefits to our communities. Looking to the future it’s important that we analyse the positive impact that the reduction of traffic flows has had in our town centres. We have seen a shift towards more cycling and walking in this safer and cleaner environment. Through consultation and taking professional advice we must build on this change in behaviour if we are to make long lasting improvements to the well-being of us all”