Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Air Pollution

Department for Transport written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the number of crossings made on the Dartford Crossing during the covid-19 outbreak on air quality in the surrounding areas.

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

Highways England continuously monitor air quality on the Dartford Crossing and operate two automatic air quality stations either side of the A282. Monitoring station ID51 is located next to the northbound carriageway and monitoring station ID52 is next to the southbound carriageway.

The measured monthly average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations between January and August (covering the COVID-19 lockdown period) for 2019 and 2020 are provided in Table 1.

Table 1 Air Quality Monitoring Data

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Average March to July

Site 51 NB

2019

38.3

39.6

26.4

42.5

30.8

32.8

28.9

30.1

32.3

2020

21

13.6

16.7

20.2

25

24

18.6

30.7

20.9

Site 52 SB

2019

71.6

67.9

61.7

46.5

55.3

53.2

55.1

50.2

54.4

2020

58.1

51.8

43

32.7

35.3

38.4

42.4

42.7

38.4

As shown in Table 1 the impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has led to a reduction in measured NO2 concentrations between March and July 2020 (bold figures), which corresponds to a reduction in traffic flows between the same time period.

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