Travel to Shopping and Leisure Activities Causes More Air Pollution Than Commuting – Research Finds


Data analysis work conducted at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) reveals that Bristol car travel to shopping and leisure activities contributes more air pollution than through commuting and business travel. It has also found that men contribute more road emissions than women.

The research assessed the role of people and society in creating pollution and is part of UWE Bristol-led ClairCity. This is an EU project that aims to raise awareness of air pollution and carbon emissions, and the impact on citizens' health in cities.

The team, also comprising Transport & Mobility Leuven, used innovative transport and emissions modelling integrated with travel survey data to examine data from the Bristol region and found that, looking across all ages, genders, and income brackets, over half of our emissions such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and PM10 (fine particles) come from trips to the shops or other activities not related to work such as restaurant outings.

Professor Enda Hayes of the Air Quality Management Resource Centre at UWE Bristol said: "The project has taken an innovative step of apportioning air pollution to people's day to day behaviours and activities by merging travel survey data with socio-economic and transport data. This gives us a much clearer insight into the motives behind the trips that we make, and raises awareness of our behaviour and impact on pollution."

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