Environmental factors driving traffic management decisions

Yunex Traffic explains how they are helping local authorities to monitor air quality and reduce emissions. 

Local authorities take their environmental responsibilities seriously, developing and deploying solutions that help measure, monitor and continually improve their impact, ultimately to the benefit of the people who live, work, visit and study in their towns and cities. Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRA) is a great example of just such a forward-thinking authority.

Bringing together Liverpool City Region’s six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral – LCRA has recently commissioned two initiatives that demonstrate its commitment to improving air quality, driving decarbonisation and delivering value. LCRA’s commitment to tackling major issues that matter to all its citizens is reflected in both these programmes, which help tackle environmental and air quality issues.

Measuring and monitoring air quality

LCRA recognised that monitoring air quality is vital, not only in measuring the impacts of different interventions over time, but also in developing and implementing effective environmental strategies in real time. This bank of data will help the Authority to define and direct its broad strategic plans, as well as to shape tactical responses to traffic management in real time, based on observed environmental outcomes.

To help achieve this, LCRA awarded a contract to Yunex Traffic to supply and install 37 Zephyr® air quality monitors. The monitors have been installed in existing traffic signal locations across the six LCRA authorities, and integrate with their existing, Yunex Traffic Stratos traffic management and control systems. This will enable trends in environmental data to be reviewed and analysed and will help the Authority set environmental strategies based on real-time pollution, temperature and humidity data, as well as the prevailing air quality levels.

Using innovative technology, the Zephyr® sensors measure in real time nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen monoxide (NO) and ozone (O3), as well as particulate matters PM1, PM2.5 and PM10. Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) can also be measured, if required.

Reducing CO2 emissions and delivering energy savings through retrofit technology

Decarbonisation and energy consumption are two key issues that LCRA has also addressed through positive action, future-proofing the region’s transport infrastructure in a cost-effective way. As part of a Transforming Cities Funding project, Yunex Traffic is working closely with the Authority to upgrade over 750 traffic signal sites across the region. The programme will see existing halogen traffic signals upgraded with our LED central light source technology, which consumes less energy while delivering improved visibility and reliability.

This solution is set to deliver energy and cost savings to LCRA of around 75%, as well as significantly reducing the need for regular maintenance visits to replace and clean lamps. It is estimated that each year, the new traffic signals will generate savings of over 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy savings of nearly £400,000, supporting environmental, economic and social sustainability improvements.

The retrofit upgrade will enable the existing roadside infrastructure to be retained, while providing LCRA with low maintenance, long-life, energy-efficient LED signals which provide improved visibility in all weather and lighting conditions. This LED retrofit solution will allow the authorities to leverage existing investment in equipment and infrastructure, especially with compatible Yunex Traffic assets, and avoid the waste and costs associated with complete refurbishments.

In the UK, thousands of traffic signals are still fitted with traditional incandescent, halogen signal lamps, which are soon to become obsolete. Our work with LCRA follows similar retrofitting schemes that we have delivered for authorities across the UK, including in London and Greater Manchester, with each solution future-proofing the authority’s traffic signal equipment from halogen lamp obsolescence and any subsequent lamp supply and maintenance risks.

These retrofit and air quality monitoring initiatives are just two examples of the many schemes in operation across the UK that are delivering, operational and safety benefits to local authorities, supporting their drive for air quality and sustainability improvements to the benefit of our towns and cities. As LCRA recognises, “a modern, effective transport system is what defines great international cities and city regions” and we are delighted to be helping local authorities across the UK achieve their transportation goals.


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