Lockdown sees air quality improve in Warwick district - The Leamington Observer

Lockdown sees air quality improve in Warwick district

Leamington Editorial 23rd Apr, 2020   0

THERE has been a noticeable drop in air pollution levels in Warwick district following the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The most recent data taken from Warwick District Council’s monitoring station in Leamington shows background concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are lower overall than those measured prior to the clampdown on people’s movements.

While the data has to bereviewed 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.

District environment spokesman Coun Alan Rhead said: “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.”


Earlier this year THe Observer reported calls made on the government to ‘act urgently’ to improve air quality in Warwick and Leamington.

It came after the World Health Organisation last year reported Leamington among the 31 most polluted areas in the country for the third successive year.

Environment chiefs named the top three pollution hotspots in the district as underneath the railway bridge on Clemens Street, Jury Street in Warwick, and the village of Barford. Heavy traffic was blamed for the high levels of pollutants.

And Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western called on the government to provide councils with air quality monitors to be fitted to waste collection vehicles to show the true scale of air pollution. A similar scheme is set to be trialled in London.

 

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