Car exhaust fumes

Kingston Council targets pollution by joining ‘Breathe London’

Kingston Council is one of the first London boroughs to join the ‘Breathe London’ trial which gives it access to a network of air quality sensors and pollution data.

This will help significantly reduce the costs of sourcing accurate air pollution data for local projects and schemes, such as School Streets.

Kingston Council has been trialling a number of School Street schemes in the borough, which aim to improve the safety of school children travelling to school and localised air quality.

As part of the InnOvaTe Project, the council will utilise cutting-edge internet-enabled technology to provide data on different transport modes and movement patterns, as well as air quality.

Commenting, Kingston Council’s Assistant Director of Highways, Transport and Regulatory Services, Matthew Hill said:

“Schools notoriously have parking and congestion issues, causing issues for residents, as well as for emergency vehicles that may need access to the school and nearby properties.

“It also makes the streets dangerous for children to use and is then a barrier to people using sustainable modes to get to school.

“Engine idling is also an issue that is a major contributor to local air pollution that damages the health of everyone in the area.

“This type of monitoring will enable us to determine whether a School Street scheme is the right option for the school and importantly help compare air quality between schools across the borough.

“Access to more accurate live data will give us a clearer picture of overall air quality and congestion levels, helping us to identify pollution hotspots that can be tackled through School Streets or other schemes.

“We are committed to improving air quality in Kingston and we hope that these new measures will encourage more people to travel sustainably, creating a safer, cleaner environment.”

Initially, sensors will be installed to monitor the effect of the forthcoming School Street at Latchmere and St Agatha’s, the proposed ones at St John’s and Christ Church, a possible future one at St Matthew’s and the existing one at Lovelace.

Air quality monitors will be based near the entrance to the schools and monitor real time data.

Breathe London was launched by the Mayor of London at the end of last year, allowing more than 100 air quality sensors to be installed at hospitals, schools and other priority locations to aid London’s green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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