Road Traffic Control: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Labour, Warley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimates his Department has made of changes in the level of local air pollution as a result of traffic jams caused by road closures put in place in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

During lockdown, short term behaviour changes saw nitrogen dioxide pollution at the roadside almost halved as a result of reduced emissions from traffic, with much smaller reductions observed for particulate matters in urban areas.

As we recover from Covid 19, we remain committed to our ambitious aims to make long term improvements to air quality and support zero emission forms of travel.

In the current climate, the Government has strongly encouraged local authorities to prioritise support for walking and cycling with measures that include pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling and widened pavements. The Department for Transport has issued guidance for local authorities on reallocating road space in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure that these new measures are implemented in a way that meets local needs.

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