EarthSense, the air quality expert, is working with Westminster Council to encourage active travel to school using Zephyr® monitors and the MyAir® public portal.
Westminster Council’ Smart City Team has installed four Zephyr® air quality monitors at four primary schools in Westminster that have been identified with a high proportion of children travelling to school by car. EarthSense has also developed a portal for the council, providing the public with access to air quality data to help raise awareness of air pollution and to encourage sustainable travel decisions such as walking, cycling, and scooting.
The public MyAir® web application will provide parents, carers, pupils, and staff members of St Joseph's Primary, Edward Wilson Primary, Wilberforce Primary and St Saviour's Primary with information about the current air quality conditions at each school, advice about how they can minimise their own personal exposure and actions they can take to help to improve air quality in the area.
The Zephyr® monitors will provide data for concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) throughout the day, which can be accessed, analysed, and downloaded through the web app. Air quality data will provide Westminster Council and the public with an understanding about how activity, such as traffic during pick up and drop off hours, affects air quality at each school site. It will also enable the council to identify measures for reducing air pollution levels throughout the area.
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Air Quality and City Management, said: “One of our key priorities is to improve air quality levels across the city, and I hope the data from these monitors will make everyone consider their personal actions.”
Dimoldenberg continues: “We want to see more people choosing an active and more sustainable form of travelling whether that’s cycling, walking, or using a scooter. We can all do something to cut pollution and as a council, we will continue to educate our residents and visitors plus introduce new policies to improve air quality.”
EarthSense’s award-winning Zephyr® monitor takes measurements of various gases and particles in the air with an active sampling mechanism which draws local air into an inlet every 10 seconds and is subsequently expelled back into the air. Air quality measurements are transmitted to the MyAir® web application via GSM or WiFi or can be integrated with third party applications with an Application Programming Interface (API).
Darren Guttridge, Headteacher of Edward Wilson Primary School, said: “The Air Quality project has encouraged the school to think much more seriously about the environment. It has served as a good opportunity to encourage much more of our community to travel to school by foot or bicycle, or even scooter.”
Tom Hall, Managing Director at EarthSense said: “Monitoring measured air pollution concentrations and correlating these with local activity when pollution episodes occur helps us to understand the impact of our personal actions.”
Hall continues: “The MyAir® public web app allows communities to visualise levels of air pollution, providing insight that can help inform decisions to improve human and environmental health. With publicly shared data we can start to educate and engage communities and encourage new strategies such as car-free zones, low-traffic