Lincoln air pollution halves in first two weeks of lockdown

Air pollution at a Lincoln rush-hour hotspot has almost halved in the first two weeks of coronavirus lockdown.

Research by the BBC’s Shared Data Unit shows a sharp reduction in the levels of nitrogen dioxide across the country.

Data from a monitoring station on Canwick Hill, in Lincoln, shows that in the first two weeks of lockdown, there was an average of 18.64 NO2 in the air, compared to 36.29 in the same period in 2019 – a drop of 48.6%.

Canwick Hill is a well-known traffic hotspot, particularly during peak periods, and is often queued from Lindum Hill, so the reduction won’t surprise many.

Queues from Canwick Hill can stretch back all the way to Washingborough at times during non-lockdown times. Photo: Simon Dodd

Deputy Chief Constable for Lincolnshire Police today (Thursday) confirmed traffic on Lincolnshire’s roads had reduced by 60% – however, he said speeding had doubled.

Ian Wicks, Pollution Control Officer at City of Lincoln Council said: “The major source of man-made NO2 in the atmosphere is the combustion of fossil fuels and, at roadside locations in Lincoln, that comes primarily from traffic.

“As there has been a significant reduction in traffic across Lincoln, and the country as a whole, it is no surprise to also see a large reduction in pollutants from road vehicles countrywide.

“Air quality in Lincoln has been improving over recent years, as identified within our annual status reports.

“This current period of restricted movement will provide an opportunity for people to reassess when, how, and why they need to travel in the future, which could result in a longer lasting benefit on air quality.”


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