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Unexpected legacy of the Tour de France Grand Depart

An unexpected legacy of the visit of the Tour de France Grand Depart to Kirklees has been to prove that car use has a drastic effect on air quality.

Spectators gathering on Holme Moss

Spectators gathering on Holme Moss

With so many local roads closed to traffic on July 6, routine air quality monitoring in Kirklees showed a drastic decrease in the amount of air pollution.

Pollution from traffic is known to be a major cause of local air pollution which can affect people’s health, and particularly detrimental to the health of people with lung conditions such as asthma as well as heart conditions.

Cllr Steve Hall, Kirklees Cabinet member for Environmental Health, said: “We noticed a striking difference when the roads were closed to traffic. The drop in the pollution level was dramatic and immediate.

“The unusual situation created by the visit of the Tour de France highlights how our car use affects pollution levels and shows the benefits of cycling and walking. I hope that one of the legacies of the Tour de France is to increase the number of journeys, particularly those done by commuters, completed by cycling and walking which will benefit people by increasing fitness levels through exercise but also improving the quality of the air we breathe.”