An Integrated Environmental Management Scheme for Air Pollution in a Strategic Road Corridor
Urban air pollution, much of it caused by road traffic emissions, is one of Europe's most widespread environmental problems. Research suggests that a minority of vehicles contribute to a disproportionate amount of pollution, with perhaps 10% of cars generating 50% of emissions. This project demonstrates the use of remote sensing equipment that identifies such gross polluters, and investigates links between traffic flows and road-side air quality. It includes educational activities that raise public awareness of air pollution. Southwark is a busy, built-up area of London which includes a major road corridor carrying traffic from Kent and the South-East into the centre of the city.
The project is managed by Southwark Council in co-operation with Greenwich University and the Metropolitan Police. Its aims are to raise the public's awareness of air pollution from traffic and its effect on health and general environmental quality, to encourage appropriate changes in transport use and vehicle maintenance which help to reduce pollution levels. It also investigates air pollution problems in busy road corridors and demonstrates the potential role of advanced pollution detection technology in identifying gross polluters and enforcement of standards.
Two pieces of equipment have been tested, the Denver FEAT system and the smog-dog. Both rely on analysis of interference in a reflected infra-red beam to estimate emissions individual vehicles. The project has undertaken a number of trials of the different techniques that could be used to pick out the registration plate of gross polluters with greater accuracy. The project has also linked a road-side monitoring station to a traffic counting device that can identify the class (size) and speed of vehicles independently and simultaneously in each of four lanes of traffic to examine the effect of traffic type and flows on air quality.