Motorways to trial new pollution screens

August 9 2017   | Region: Cymru Wales, East Midlands, East of England, London, North East & Cumbria, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber

Motorways to trial new pollution screens
Air quality around motorways could improve with the trial of canopies built to prevent vehicle emissions from reaching local people. Highways England has published an air quality strategy which describes such a canopy as a ‘tunnel-like structure’, but a spokesman stressed that any new installation would not cover the whole carriageway.
 
The company has been working with the Dutch roads authority which installed a curved barrier beside one of its major routes – but not for air quality purposes – and has installed monitoring equipment to see what air quality benefit the structures may deliver.
 
“At the moment we are gathering evidence to ascertain if these barriers could be effective in tackling the issue of air quality,” the source said. “This is a very early idea, but we are passionate about trying to find solutions.” There are no details at this stage as to where a canopy trial might take place or when.
 
Two years ago Highways England began trialling an air quality barrier beside the M62, over a distance of 100m. The structure was built to be 4m high and was raised to 6m last year. This trial led to the installation of a barrier on the M1 that features a polymer material designed to clean the air.
 
Infrastructure software specialist Yotta described the use of canopies as a plausible idea. But the firm’s director of international business Simon Topp added: “Pollution can perhaps be more effectively controlled at source by providing innovative, sustainable and future proof modes of transport, and that’s likely to happen soon with more electric vehicles starting to hit the road.”
 
(Photo: DeFacto and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

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