Kingston Council to use innovative sensor technology to monitor air quality around School Streets

17 June 2021

Kingston Council is one of the first London Boroughs to join the ‘Breathe London’ trial which gives it access to a network of air quality sensors and pollution data.

This will help significantly reduce the costs of sourcing accurate air pollution data for local projects and schemes like School Streets.

Kingston has been trialling a number of School Street schemes in the borough, which aim to improve the safety of school children travelling to school and localised air quality. As part of the InnOvaTe Project, the council will utilise cutting-edge internet-enabled technology to provide data on different transport modes and movement patterns, as well as air quality.

Matthew Hill, Assistant Director, Highways, Transport and Regulatory Services at Kingston Council, said:

“Schools notoriously have parking and congestion issues, causing issues for residents as well as for emergency vehicles that may need access to the school and nearby properties. It also makes the streets dangerous for children to use and is then a barrier to people using sustainable modes to get to school. Engine idling is also an issue that is a major contributor to local air pollution that damages the health of everyone in the area.


“This type of monitoring will enable us to determine whether a School Street scheme is the right option for the school and importantly help compare air quality between schools across the borough. Access to more accurate live data will give us a clearer picture of overall air quality and congestion levels, helping us to identify pollution hotspots that can be tackled through School Streets or other schemes.


“We are committed to improving air quality in Kingston, and we hope that these new measures will encourage more people to travel sustainably, creating a safer, cleaner environment.”

Initially, sensors will be installed to monitor the effect of our forthcoming School Street at Latchmere and St Agatha’s, the proposed school streets at St John’s and Christ Church, a possible future school street at St Matthew’s and the existing Lovelace Primary school street. Air quality monitors will be based near the entrance to the schools and monitor real time data. 

Breathe London was launched by the Mayor of London at the end of last year, allowing more than 100 air quality sensors to be installed at hospitals, schools and other priority locations to aid London’s green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the InnOvaTe Project:

South London Partnership is working with London Councils to deliver an exciting and innovative “Internet of Things” (IoT) project across the five south London Councils of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton.

This initiative is funded by the Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) as part of the London Councils Business Rates Retention scheme which is administered by the City of London Corporation, and hopes to improve people’s lives through the delivery of a multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which will connect various sensors across borough boundaries.

The project is led by Sutton Council, which was selected to oversee the project on behalf of the other boroughs.

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