Friday, July 14th 2017 at 10:57AM BST
As HSBC UK City Rides across the country continue, research has shown clear evidence of the benefits the increased cycling levels can bring to a city.
Research carried out by Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory project has revealed that, when city centre roads were closed to traffic during the city’s HSBC UK City Ride on July 2nd, levels of harmful nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide fell by around 75 per cent.
The event, which saw thousands of people cycle around the traffic-free streets, was the fourth in the series of HSBC UK City Rides that will be visiting cities throughout the UK over the summer, continuing in Sheffield this Sunday. Several of the Urban Observatory’s air quality monitors are situated on the route that participants rode; they have revealed that during the event, NO and NO2 levels measured approximately five parts per billion, as opposed to around 20 parts per billion at the same time the previous Sunday.
On the day before the event, levels exceeded 100 parts per billion at times.
There was also a comparison taken on Blackett Street – a normally heavily trafficked area of the city – that usually records ‘significantly more’ NO than a pedestrianised area 140 metres away. While shut to traffic on the Sunday, the difference between NO levels on Blackett Street and the pedestrianised area was ‘negligible’.