How has the Coronavirus improved pollution in London?
COVID-19 may have made life a little more difficult for many of us, but one of the few things we can be thankful for is that it has shown us just how quickly the air quality can improve in the UK if people drive less.
During lockdown, levels of NO2 pollution (nitrogen dioxide) around London’s main roads dropped drastically – simply because less people were out using their cars. Research suggests that at a time where vehicle usage lessened by roughly 53%, there was a decrease of 36% on Euston Road and as much as 55% on Marylebone Road alone. From the beginning of lockdown to now, there has been a reduction of NO2 at around 22% across Central London, which is a significant decrease that can’t be overlooked.
In such a short amount of time (not even a whole year), we have seen major improvements – which should hopefully encourage more people to take up cycling and drive less.
Keeping yourself safe
As well as being more beneficial for air quality, commuting by bicycle could also help you to keep your distance from others, too. The advice from the government is to use any other form of transportation before public transport, and with work going into improving life for pedestrians and cyclists, now could be the perfect opportunity for a range of people to purchase and use bikes more often when getting around.
Don’t forget the benefits that come with cycling
Even aside from all this, there are multiple reasons why it could be an excellent idea for more people across the United Kingdom to start using bikes instead of cars and public transportation where possible.
Outside of avoiding public transport, there are a whole host of physical and mental health benefits (from increasing muscle strength and flexibility, to reducing stress levels) that can be linked to this form of exercise. It’s also an activity that many people find enjoyable and relaxing – and overall, it offers a far better experience than simply riding the bus or driving a vehicle!
There’s a sense of control and freedom when cycling, and due to the advantages that can come with doing so, there really is a positive impact to be enjoyed for those who take up bike riding, even if it’s not a daily thing. If you’re planning on going back to work though, it might be worth considering commuting by bike as often as possible.