A high-tech pollution sensor on a traffic light. Image: LCR
More than 30 air quality sensors are to be installed across the Liverpool City Region road network in a bid to reduce congestion and emissions.
The technology will be linked to traffic signals and located on major routes in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.
The sensors will give local authorities access to real-time updates on air quality on key roads for the first time.
The technology will also be linked to Urban Traffic Control systems and signals that can be used to manage and divert traffic when pollution reaches elevated levels.
Funding for the project is being delivered through the region’s Transforming Cities Fund.
The devices will be fitted to traffic lights on 37 key road areas, including the Strand, Dunnings Bridge Road in Sefton and the Bridgewater Expressway in Halton.
A Liverpool City Region spokesperson said the roads weren’t selected specifically because they are in areas with highest air pollution but because they are major road corridors across the region.
The sensors will monitor harmful gases and particles then the data will be sent live to local authority highways management teams as they control traffic signals and electronic signage on major corridors.
This will allow traffic flow to be managed, and even diverted, to help avoid serious congestion and reduce harmful emissions particularly in built up areas most affected by air pollution.
Traffic pollution contributes to overall poor air quality which is estimated to be responsible for an average of 800 deaths every year in the Liverpool City Region.
When will the sensors be installed?
The sensors, which are set to be installed by spring 2022, are part of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plan to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable London-style transport network that will help the Liverpool City Region meet a target of becoming net zero carbon by 2040.
Which roads have the new sensors?
1 Arrowe Park Road, Upton
2 Poulton Road, Wallasey
3 Wallasey Road, Liscard
4 Chester Street, Birkenhead
5 New Chester Road (A41) , Eastham
6 Moor Lane, Thornton
7 Crosby Road South, Crosby
8 Southport Road, Bootle
9 Dunnings Bridge Road, Netherton
10 Dunnings Bridge Road, Bootle
11 Northway, Maghull
12 Rimrose Road, Bootle
13 A49 Church Road, Newton
14 A58 Borough Rd/Prescot Rd, St Helens
15 A58 Linkway West, St Helens
16 A580 East Lancashire Rd, Blackbrook
17 M62 J7, Rainhill
18 Kingsway, Widnes
19 Deacon Rd, Widnes
20 Liverpool Rd, Widnes
21 Bridgewater Expressway, Runcorn
22 Busway, Runcorn
23 Cronton Road, Tarbock
24 County Road, Kirkby
25 Hall Lane, Kirkby
26 County Road, Kirkby
27 Old Rough Lane, Kirkby
28 A5080 Edge Lane, Liverpool
29 A561 Speke Road, Liverpool
30 Everton Valley, Liverpool
31 A5038 Lime Street, Liverpool
32 A5058 (Queens Drive), Liverpool
33 A59 (Rice Lane), Liverpool
34 A41 (Queensway Tunnel), Liverpool
35 A5036 (The Strand), Liverpool
36 A5047 (London Road / Pembroke Place), Liverpool
37 A57 (Kensington), Liverpool
Mayor Rotheram said: “Air pollution has a really damaging effect on the environment and on people’s health. This new technology will allow us to monitor air quality along congested routes in real time and enable local councils to reduce congestion.
“Too many journeys across our region are currently taken by car. I’m working to build a modern London-style transport network that will give people a sustainable alternative to the car. It will make using public transport to get around our region cheap, reliable and quick.”
But some local residents have expressed their doubts about how the system will work.
Green campaigner and avid cyclist Edward Lamb, from Wirral, questioned whether the traffic would be diverted to residential streets.