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Air quality sensors to help inform Oxford’s approach to clean air

18 air pollution sensors will be deployed in and around Oxford to help investigate the impact that traffic management strategies have on improving air quality. 

Oxford City and County Council planned to implement the world’s first Zero Emission Zone covering a small area of the city centre, however, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the councils have announced that the ZEZ will not begin in December 2020 as planned. 

Air quality expert, Earthsense, is working with Ainsum, Oxfordshire County Council and automation company Siemens to help inform the prospective ZEZ.

The project involves implementing a network of Zephyr air pollution monitors, alongside MappAir modelling, to inform traffic management with the aim to improve air quality around Oxford. 

These sensors are part of the Network Emissions/Vehicle Flow Management Adjustment (NEVFMA) initiative funded by Highways England through Innovate UK.

The Zephyr air quality sensors will provide measurements collected by static sensors mounted to lampposts and traffic signals on main routes into the city, ring roads and background urban sites and one mobile sensor will be fitted to an electric car provided by Oxfordshire County Council.

The mobile sensors will provide daily coverage for large, unaccounted areas of the city, with the aim to uncover the link between road emissions and roadside air quality in real-time.

Earthsense managing director, Tom Hall said: ‘Working with Aimsun and Oxfordshire County Council’s iHub team to investigate how traffic management and control systems can be used to reduce emissions in the Oxford area enables us to trial both the air quality predictions from MappAir and the Aimsun model.

‘We hope that this will enable Oxfordshire County Council’s ambition to have the world’s first zero-emission zone to be realised. It should also prove the scalability of this project’s approach.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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