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23 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Pollutant levels halve in some of London’s busiest streets because of lockdown

By Samuel Horti

Nitrogen dioxide levels have fallen by an average of 40 per cent in the streets of central London since the start of the lockdown, with levels halving in some areas, London mayor Sadiq Khan said today.

The halving of traffic in the capital has led to a dramatic increase in air quality, Khan said. Across central London testing sites, levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant, were down by an average of a quarter since 17 March, with the figure rising to 40 per cent at roadside testing sites. 

Marylebone Road, one of London’s busiest, has seen daily average levels drop 48 per cent, while levels in Oxford Street have fallen by 47 per cent.

Khan urged the government to ensure air quality was central to any post-crisis recovery plan. “This cleaner air should not just be temporary,” he said.