Tour de France boosts Huddersfield air quality

Kirklees council says road closures in early July during hosting of cycling event caused ‘drastic’ decrease in air pollution

Road closures in areas surrounding Huddersfield during the hosting of sections of the Tour de France cycling competition last month led to “drastic” reductions in air pollution in the region, according to Kirklees council.

The Tour de France is mostly held in France, but certain early sections of the race were held in the West Yorkshire and other parts of the UK in 2014.

Road closures in the Kirklees region of Yorkshire during the Tour de France helped to boost air quality

Road closures in the Kirklees region of Yorkshire during the Tour de France helped to boost air quality, the council said

Therefore, with international cyclists racing through areas surrounding Huddersfield in the Kirklees region, dozens of roads were closed to the public on July 6.

But an “unexpected” consequence of these road closures, according to the council, was that routine air quality monitoring showed a “drastic” decrease in the amount of air pollution on this date.

The council said this proved that “car use has a drastic effect on air quality” and hopes that hosting the event will encourage more people to consider undertaking more of their journeys by foot or bike.

Kirklees councillor Steve Hall, 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.”


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Simon Geller
Simon Geller
9 years ago

No it isn’t Wt, because there are more cars on the roads than trucks and buses. Many car journeys are below 2 miles which doesn’t give the engine the chance to warm up so it runs less eifficiently and causes more pollution. Cars predominately produce CO2 while diesels create NOX – both are pollutants.

9 years ago

Isn’t it trucks and buses which are most responsible for local air pollution?

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