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Measurement of traffic and pollution impacts from protests

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Russell Caroline Russell Green

In April 2019, the London Air project of King’s College London produced an interim analysis of the effects of the Extinction Rebellion climate protests. These interim figures show the protests reduced pollution on nearby streets at the time. What analysis or research have your officers conducted into the effects on traffic and pollution of events such as Extinction Rebellion protests and Car Free Day, and will this be published?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

King’s College London reported a reduction in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide at roadside sites near the protest in April 2019. City Hall has not undertaken further analysis.

With over 27 km of closed roads in central London and events across 27 boroughs including 385 play streets 22 September 2019 was London’s biggest ever Car Free Day celebration. King’s College London installed a temporary monitor on Regent Street to measure the impact of its closure. They found nitrogen dioxide concentrations were 60 per cent lower on Car Free Day compared to the day before. City Hall’s own analysis of the Breathe London air quality sensor at Bank Junction found concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were 40 per cent lower on Car Free Day than the day before.