A CITY's air pollution plummeted as a result of this year's Great North Run, a new study has shown.

Thousands of runners took to the streets of Newcastle last Sunday, September 8, causing several miles of road closures along the route.

Research from Newcastle University, and Great Run Series sponsor ENGIE, revealed that nitrogen dioxide – one of the main air quality contaminants – decreased by 80 per cent on the day of the run compared to the same time period two weeks earlier.

It also discovered that particle matter, which comes from emissions in exhausts and brakes, decreased by 77 per cent during the same time period.

Phil James, Professor of Urban Data at Newcastle University, said: “The research clearly shows a significant drop in nitrogen dioxide and particle matter – two common pollutants associated with cars.

“You can’t always see these pollutants, so it’s easy to forget how damaging they can be. Air pollution has been linked to health problems such as asthma, and it’s something everyone should be aware of as it affects people of all ages.”

Paul Foster, Chief Executive of the Great Run Company, said: “It’s incredible to see the effect the Great North Run has on reducing air pollutants in the city on the day of the event."