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Covid-19 Lockdown: Air Quality

Part of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

It is an absolute pleasure to be taking part today, Mr Speaker, although nothing really makes up for being there in person with you.

DEFRA’s roadside air quality monitoring stations continuously monitor air quality. Between 23 March and 5 May, nitrogen dioxide concentrations were, on average, 46% lower than this time last year, with reductions ranging from 9% to 65% at individual locations. That is largely due to the substantial reduction in traffic levels, although other factors such as weather may also have had some impact. Interestingly, concentrations of other air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter, have not shown similar trends.