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Liverpool launch city-wide air quality monitoring scheme

A city-wide traffic monitoring exercise takes place this week in Liverpool as the council develops its air quality plan.

From today (February 25) 40 cameras will count the amount of traffic, the type of vehicles and engine types on major routes into the city using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.

It forms part of a 1.1m programme funded by the government which also includes installing air quality monitoring stations and updating modelling data for transport in the city region.

In 2017, Mayor Joe Anderson said the authority would prioritise walking, cycling, electric vehicles and clean fuels to reduce the impact of air pollution, which is estimated to contribute to 230 deaths in the city each year.

The council is in the process ofchanging to a diesel-free fleet including purchasing new waste collection vehicles, has started installing 100 electric vehicle charging points and banned taxis from retro-fitting higher polluting engines.

Cllr James Noakes, cabinet member for highways, transport and streetscene, said: ‘Liverpools a growing city and, as with other cities, we have high levels of traffic and it causes around 70% of air pollution.

‘The quality of air we breathe affects our health and wellbeing and we are all affected by it, particularly children and the elderly, and long-term exposure can contribute to heart disease, stroke and lung diseases like asthma.

Liverpool city council is one of 33 local authorities brought into the scope of the government’s air quality plan following a High Court ruling last year

‘This is a key piece of work to understand the challenges that we face and we know that as a council we have to play our part. We are leading by example, by changing our fleet of vehicles to be greener, encouraging hackney drivers to move over to less polluting vehicles and working with Merseytravel to deliver a better and cleaner bus service.

‘We are working with city region partners because air quality crosses council borders. Likewise, we have also joined other cities as part of the UK100 initiative to demand central government implements the changes and provides the money it needs to, if we are to really make a difference such as a new clean air act, a scrappage scheme for the most polluting vehicles and appropriate funding to properly tackle air quality.’

Last year the council launched Lets Clear the Air Liverpool, a campaign to raise awareness of the damaging effect of air pollution on health and to advise on actions that we can all take to reduce our personal exposure to air pollution, reduce our personal contribution to it and actions to improve the quality of the air in the city.

The routes the cameras will be placed on include: Derby Road, County Road, Walton Hall Avenue, Utting Avenue, Townsend Avenue, Muirhead Avenue, Prescot Road, Allerton Road, Aigburth Road, Vauxhall Road, Scotland Road, Menlove Avenue, Speke Road, West Derby Road, Dale Street, the Strand, Lime Street and the Queensway Tunnel entrance.

In November, atask force was set up to look at measures to address air pollution in the Liverpool city region.

The Air Quality Task Force will work to raise awareness of air pollution and make recommendations to progress action.

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