Air quality in cities shows big increase

Pollution
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The Independent Online

Pollution levels in some big cities fell by two-thirds when drivers abandoned their cars for other modes of transport during the petrol crisis.

Pollution levels in some big cities fell by two-thirds when drivers abandoned their cars for other modes of transport during the petrol crisis.

Figures from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions showed levels of carbon dioxide in the air were far lower yesterday than at the start of the week. At Bloomsbury in central London, the highest recorded level of carbon monoxide fell from 1.4 parts per million on Tuesday to 0.5ppm on Thursday and 0.4ppm yesterday. On Marylebone Road, close by, the level fell from 3.5ppm on Tuesday to 1.8ppm on Friday.

In Manchester, the level of the gas, most of which comes from vehicle exhaust, fell from 0.5ppm on Monday to 0.3ppm on Friday. In Cardiff it dropped from 0.7ppm to 0.4ppm and in Bristol from 0.6ppm to 0.2ppm.

In Belfast, which was mostly unaffected by the fuel shortage, the carbon monoxide level rose to 0.4ppm on Friday, from 0.1ppm on Monday.

A spokesman for Friends of the Earth agreed that the lack of traffic must have affected pollution levels, but added that the change in the weather could have contributed.

He also said that many pedestrians had welcomed the improvement in their quality of life while there were fewer cars on the roads.

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