With lockdown in effect, initial figures revealed today – World Earth Day – suggest a decline in air pollution in the borough.
Reduced traffic on the borough’s roads has coincided with a drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions.
While it’s too soon for a definitive analysis, preliminary findings would suggest that lockdown and the subsequent reduction in traffic has seen nitrogen dioxide readings drop by 20%.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said:
"We’ve been taking measures over several years to tackle air pollution across the borough, rolling out a range of road improvements to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. It’s really good to see that people are taking the government’s messages seriously and only using their cars for essential journeys.
"More than ever it’s really important that we ask ourselves whether our journeys are essential. With less traffic on the road we’ve seen a suggested drop in air pollution and I would continue to emphasise the importance of only using your car when necessary, both while we are fighting this pandemic together and to consider this beyond."
The authority was awarded over £1.5m to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide emissions in April 2019. The grant from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for Transport (DfT), aims to help reduce vehicle emissions and specifically address two key locations in the borough - in the vicinity of the A461 Castle Gate Island and A491 High Street, Wordsley.