AIR QUALITY signals could be rolled out further on polluting Coventry roads to give motorists the choice to limit emissions.
It could be among measures proposed by the city to prevent a government-imposed congestion charge for drivers.
Coventry City Council earlier this year deployed sensors to encourage motorists to avoid heavily congested roads and pollution hotspots by displaying special road signals.
It hopes the new sensors can help cut emissions, after a Clean Air Zone was threatened by the government in May.
EarthSense – a company that provides air quality monitoring and modelling – has installed the sensors as part of a pilot scheme till the end of December.
Polluting routes used include along the A4600 route at Walsgrave Road and Ball Hill junction.
The scheme could be rolled out to other parts of the city after the pilot period ends.
The sensors measure gases and particulates including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and particle matter (PM2.5 and issue alerts when pollution levels are breached.
Explaining how they work, the company says: “When pollution levels are breached, the sensors send alerts directly to the Urban Traffic Management Centre where they automatically trigger messaging on Variable Message Signs (VMS) for motorists and the general public around the city.
“The city council is using messages informing motorists of the elevated pollution levels and suggestions to use alternative routes in a bid to drive behavioural change and ease the pressures at pollution hotspots.”
Senior project manager at the council Shamala Evans said: “Air pollution is a growing public health concern.
“We’re taking early measures with the aim of encouraging motorists to make small changes to help reduce the pollution levels and traffic congestion before it’s too late and we’re forced to introduce chargeable clean air zones.”
Head of Transport and Innovation at the council John Seddon said: “The council is keen to install the right technology across Coventry’s road network to allow us to dynamically manage traffic and respond to issues such as poor air quality or traffic incidents as soon as they happen.
“The sensors will support us in achieving this aim by allowing real-time monitoring of air quality conditions on a key corridor into the city, and we are excited to see results of this system following successful deployment of sensors earlier this year.”