Yunex Traffic, the new name for Siemens Mobility, will install automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras across Newcastle ahead of the Clean Air Zone.
The introduction of the system follows a consultation undertaken by Newcastle and Gateshead councils with residents, businesses, workers and students.
Yunex Traffic will work closely with the councils, the Joint Air Quality Unit and other partners to develop a system that will improve air quality across the city centre.
The scheme will discourage drivers of the most polluting buses, coaches, taxis and goods vehicles from entering and encourage them to upgrade to cleaner, low or no emission vehicles. Private cars will be exempt.
In a joint statement, the leaders of Newcastle and Gateshead councils, Cllr Nick Forbes and Cllr Martin Gannon, said: ‘Together, we are committed to creating a cleaner and healthier environment for everybody in our communities.
‘Air pollution is linked to serious health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and breathing problems – with older people, children and those with existing long-term health issues more likely to be affected.
‘The Clean Air Zone that we are putting in place to reduce the numbers of high-polluting vehicles on our roads is one of a number of steps we are taking to improve our air quality and protect people’s health.’
The cameras will be at the heart of the scheme, with 36 cameras to be installed at 29 permanent locations across the city centre.
The cameras will identify and register every vehicle that enters the zone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the information captured then interfaced with the UK government’s national Clean Air Zone database for vehicle checking and payment.
Commenting on the contract award, Wilke Reints, managing director of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility Limited, said: ‘Building on the success of our work with London, Birmingham and Portsmouth, we are delighted to now also be working with the team in Newcastle and Gateshead to develop and deliver a Clean Air Zone solution to meet the area’s specific needs.
‘With air pollution in the UK representing one of the most significant environmental risks to human health, our innovative and highly secure solutions help improve air quality, ease congestion and provide critical data for effective city developments. Building on our extensive experience with similar schemes both in the UK and internationally, we are looking forward to developing a bespoke solution that will provide benefits to the area’s residents, workers, students and visitors.’
Photo by Boris YUE