New data shows impact of Covid-19 on traffic and air quality

New data shows impact of Covid-19 on traffic and air quality

Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020
An empty road in Cambridge

New data that shows the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on traffic and air quality on the Greater Cambridge transport network has been published today.

The report, developed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership in collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council, gives an initial assessment of how the coronavirus outbreak affected the way people moved around the city during the initial lockdown.

This report will now be published once a month throughout the pandemic so local authorities can continue to draw up plans to make it easier for people to travel around while social distancing measures are in place.

The figures show:

  • Air quality has improved - with nitrogen dioxide levels in the city centre 33% lower than average levels over the past three years.
  • There was a 56%* reduction in average daily motor vehicles, with significant drops in bus and delivery vehicle movements between Monday 16 March to Sunday 19 April.
  • Daily use across all Cambridge City multi-storey car parks dropped by 83%.
  • An average decrease of 39%* in daily cycle counts and a 26%* drop in daily pedestrian counts across monitored locations – which reduced by 80% in retail areas – between Monday 16 March and Sunday 19 April
  • A large reduction in bus services and bus users.
  • Journey times improved by an average of 27% across monitored routes as a result of fewer vehicles on the roads.

Within the monthly data updates published by the GCP and county council over the coming months, six key indicators will be updated:

  • Travel
  • Parking
  • Air quality
  • Cycling and walking
  • Public transport
  • Journey times

The GCP is working in partnership with the county council to identify options to support social distancing, including the potential reallocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists.

The report can be found on the Cambridgeshire Insight website.

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