Air pollution is the world's largest environmental health threat

99% of the world’s population live in areas where air quality measurements exceed limits set by the World Health Organisation and ambient air pollution is estimate to account for 4.2 million deaths each year.

Road transportation and congestion, as a key source of polluting emissions, needs to be monitored, reduced and managed in order for air quality to improve.

When road use and air quality datasets are combined, pollution patterns are revealed. By law the UK’s emissions must reach net zero by 2050. Key strategies to achieve this are accelerating modal shift to public and active travel, and decarbonising road transport. 

Network interventions may include Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Ultra Low Emission Zones, enhanced provision for active travel modes and optimising public transport networks. This will improve air quality, reduce congestion and enhance the health and wellbeing of urban communities.

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The challenges of implementing air quality schemes

Government funding for air quality improvement is well established, with cleaner air benefiting the environment, people and the economy. All local authorities must regularly review and assess air quality in their area, monitoring progress made towards decarbonisation objectives laid out by the government.

Transport management can be one of the most effective methods for reducing pollutants, from traffic regulation orders and congestion reduction measures, to making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. 

Understanding road use pre- and post-implementation is vital to ensure that traffic management strategies are efficiently designed and implemented, and to assess the impact these strategies have on air quality.

Traffic management and regulation orders can be a contentious issue for drivers and communities. Baseline road use data and post-implementation comparisons supports the work of local authorities in communicating the benefits of such measures.

Traffic sensor insights solution for air quality programmes

VivaCity’s AI computer vision technology gathers accurate, anonymous and detailed, 24/7 real-time data. Classified counts, zonal speeds, journey times and turning counts aggregate to form a clear picture of how roads are used. Traffic data coupled with air quality data enables patterns to be identified between road use and pollution levels , better informing air quality improvement schemes.

Features that support air quality improvement schemes:

  • Classified Counts – Differentiate between transport modes and understand how different mode volumes affect pollution levels
  • Zonal Speed – Analyse average speed data across an allocated area and its impact on air quality
  • Journey Times – Understand how congestion and start/stop traffic affects air quality

 

Air quality monitoring using VivaCity traffic Sensor data

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Data from our traffic monitoring solution supports air quality improvement schemes in a range of ways:

  • Baseline data – Receive a clear picture of how different road users use the network and how congestion forms, identify patterns, set predetermined goals and measure post-implementation impact against
  • Co-location of traffic and air quality monitors – Analyse how traffic behaviours correlate with air quality
  • Long-term and real-time data – Access historic and real-time data to identify trends and assess changes in congestion, traffic volumes and journey speeds
  • Comprehensive quantitative data to support funding applications – Demonstrate your ability to monitor and evaluate scheme performance effectively
  • Data backed decisions and evidenced results – Communicate the reasons for and impact of a scheme to local communities and stakeholders with credibility and clarity

Download our ‘Computer Vision Sensor for Modal Shift and Active Travel’ Brochure

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