Cleaning up the air we breathe
Clean and fresh air is something we all take for granted but poor air quality in certain areas is a reality. There are many improvements we can take to help the government achieve its goals for the UK towards helping end global warming.
In 2019 the UK government announced its ‘net zero’ climate change initiative – setting a target for the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions and legislating for an end to its part in global warming by 2050. The implications of this programme are clearly far-reaching, meaning that harmful emissions from transport, homes, farming and industry will all have to be either completely eliminated, or in difficult cases, offset by planting trees or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Ultra Low Emission Zone - London
Air pollution is one of the world’s major challenges, and one which the world’s largest cities are all having to wrestle with. It’s certainly an issue that’s constantly at the front of our minds at Siemens Mobility, as we continue to develop and implement solutions that will help authorities tackle and manage the quality of their air.
London is a great example, where around half of all particulate matter and nitrous oxide emissions in the air come from road transport.
As part of a series of initiatives to clean up the city’s toxic air, we worked closely with Transport for London (TfL) to develop and install a software solution for the capital’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Introduced in April this year, the ULEZ software is integrated with the existing roadside sensors and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which form part of London’s congestion charging scheme – a system we installed and have operated and maintained for more than 10 years.
The ULEZ and congestion charging systems both use advanced, multi-lane, free-flow tolling technology which extends throughout London. During the first ten years of the congestion charging scheme’s operation, over two billion vehicle detection records have been processed, all with industry leading security and transactional integrity. The system offers the highest level of performance - and operates at greater than 99% reliability.
Leeds and Birmingham Clean Air Zones
With every city facing unique challenges, clean air zones can be implemented in a variety of ways to boost their effectiveness.
Siemens Mobility Limited is working with Leeds and Birmingham City Councils – the first UK cities to design, supply, install, operate and maintain a clean air zone monitoring and enforcement solution.
Low Emission Vehicles
With cars, vans and lorries responsible for so much air pollution, low-emission electric vehicles (EVs) can really help to provide a cleaner future, and our drive and charging solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles are helping car manufacturers around the world to meet their CO2 targets.
At Siemens Mobility we are also continuing to introduce more efficient, low emission vehicles to our own fleet; and the fact that the EV charging points in our staff car parks are constantly in use is a sure sign that our workforce is embracing the benefits of electric and hybrid cars. We also currently have an all-electric van on trial in the South East of England and continue to watch closely as manufacturers develop and introduce more electric vans that can provide both the load capacity and range that our nationwide network of engineers need.