Air quality chart shows startling drop in pollution levels since burst water main closed Otley Road

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Drivers have been faced with disruption after a burst water main closed Otley Road in Headingley for two days while repairs take place.

But there has been one major advantage of the sudden, enforced drop in traffic - air quality levels have improved drastically.

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Air Quality England operate a kerbside monitoring station on the Otley Road/Headingley Lane junction - one of the busiest routes into Leeds.

They measure levels of pollutants such as nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide.

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The AQE website provides data for the week beginning June 2. A chart showing the levels of nitrogen dioxide - a pollutant which can he toxic in high doses and is caused by the burning of fossil fuels - clearly indicates a correlation between the amount of traffic using the road and the air quality levels.

Pollution levels spiked from Monday onwards when the route would normally see the busiest commuter flows - but dropped drastically on Thursday, when the large hole opened up on Otley Road and the highway was shut for safety reasons, and fell below weekend levels.