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2 Aug 2018

Levels of nitrogen fall during car-free event

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Two thirds of cyclists regularly face road risks due to "close passing" by drivers

RideLondon data proves link between car-free days and clean air

Posted on in Cycles News , Outdoor News

Data collected during the RideLondon event has shown that the annual car-free event has a positive impact on the level of air pollution in the capital.

Visual analytics professor Jo Wood has combined the results of the past six years to demonstrate the effects of the event on the environment.


Represented by the red lines on the graph, the nitrogen level is significantly lower than average during the times when the RideLondon event has taken place for the last six years, with peaks occurring once traffic has been allowed to resume.

On twitter where the results were published Wood commented: "Six years of conclusive evidence that if you would like to breathe clean air, you need to radically reduce polluting vehicles in urban settings."

Elsewhere in Europe the idea of car-free days has become more popular. Just last week Paris announced driving bans in big parts of Paris for almost all petrol engined vehicles thanks to recorded high ozone levels in the capital.
Activation of the ‘environmental zone' for the Greater Paris area where over 12 million people live means that only petrol engines registered from 1997 and diesel passenger cars registered from 2006 may enter this zone. The rules are even stricter for buses, trucks and motorhomes with only vehicles registered from 01.10.2009 are still permitted to drive within the environmental zone. Breaking the rules results in fines up to 375 euro.

During the air pollution peak, there is a discounted day ticket for local public transport and the use of bicycles, and e-bikes in particular are encouraged.

Next to traffic congestion, rising air pollution levels are regarded as to bring a big push to the development and use of electric vehicles.


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