Newcastle air pollution 'back to pre-lockdown levels'

GV of the central motorway in Newcastle.
Newcastle's level of air pollution has returned to pre-lockdown levels. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The levels of pollution in and around Newcastle City Centre have risen back to pre-lockdown levels. 

Researchers at Newcastle University's Urban Observatory have been monitoring pollutants in the air of the city.

Newcastle has the densest network of air quality sensors in the country with more than 200 scattered around the streets.  These measure the amount of nitrogen dioxide and the levels to minute dust particles, both believed to have an impact on health.

The observatory has been measuring pollution for four years and recorded a massive fall during lockdown. Air pollution dropped by up to 40 per cent during April but began slowly rising as people were allowed to travel again.

The Urban Observatory also monitors the amount of traffic and pedestrian movements.

At the start of September air quality had returned to the seasonal average. This coincides with traffic levels returning to normal. The morning rush hour continues to be slightly quieter than pre-lockdown but, across the day, the number of car journeys has returned to the pre -lockdown level.