IN NORMAL times, you would be taking your life in your hands by choosing to stand in the road in front of the Randolph Hotel. Now, the usually congested junction of Beaumont Street and St Giles is deserted – free of cars and with barely any sign of life.

The lockdown has left Oxford city centre eerily empty, in common with every other urban area. And while the sight of traffic-free streets is unsettling it does give the handful of people still going to and from work or picking up food supplies, a rare perspective of the city’s graceful architecture unimpeded by cars, tour buses and delivery vehicles – and with noticeably cleaner air.

Read again: Gastro-pub reopens as community shop - with free delivery

Peter Thompson of Oxford Civic Society said: “One of the few good things to have come out of this crisis has been the reduction in air pollution."

Oxford Mail:

There has been a huge reduction in traffic and a subsequent improvement in air quality. No doubt cars have transformed people’s lives but I don’t think we appreciate the price we pay for convenience. And this demonstrates to us what that price is.

"Hopefully it will wake people up to the fact that up to 30,000 people a year die because of poor air quality.”