Encouraging more people to get around by cycling rather than driving is a realistic and effective way of reducing air pollution, a study has found.
The research, carried out on behalf of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), focused on five cities in Europe: Antwerp, London, Nantes, Seville and Thessaloniki. The cities were chosen as they all notably promote cycling, as well as the fact that they represent a range of different locations in Europe.
For each city, researchers studied a range of pollutants typically emitted by motorised transport, including nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. They found that the bolder the measures taken by city authorities to promote cycling, the better the air quality.
Even small improvements in air quality can have a range of positive health benefits for the people living in the area, particularly in terms of lung health.
Based on these findings, ECF is calling on city authorities to invest in cycling infrastructure and to promote it as an alternative mode of transport to citizens.
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