UK air pollution fell to record lows in 2020 due to lockdowns

A deserted motorway in Surrey, UK

Chris Gorman/Getty Images

Air pollution in the UK fell to its lowest levels in decades last year due to the coronavirus pandemic’s unprecedented restrictions curbing traffic.

Past research has detected deep but brief drops in pollution during the country’s lockdowns, but today figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed the scale of the impact in 2020 for the first time.


Average levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas…

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