As part of a joint commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in Newcastle city center, local councils have awarded a contract to Yunex Traffic to design and install a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) camera monitoring and enforcement solution for the city.
The introduction of the system follows a consultation undertaken by Newcastle and Gateshead councils with residents, businesses, workers and students, and forms part of a package of measures to be introduced to improve air quality.
Yunex Traffic, the new name for Siemens Mobility’s Intelligent Traffic systems business, will work closely with the councils, the Department for Transport’s Joint Air Quality Unit and the other program partners to develop a robust and reliable system that will improve air quality across the city centre. The scheme will discourage drivers of the most polluting buses, coaches, taxis and goods vehicles from entering and encourage them to upgrade to cleaner, low or no emission vehicles. Private cars will be exempt.
“Together, we are committed to creating a cleaner and healthier environment for everybody in our communities,” said Nick Forbes and Martin Gannon, the leaders of Newcastle and Gateshead councils, in a joint statement. “Air pollution is linked to serious health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and breathing problems – with older people, children and those with existing long-term health issues more likely to be affected. The Clean Air Zone we are putting in place to reduce the numbers of high-polluting vehicles on our roads is one of a number of steps we are taking to improve our air quality and protect people’s health.”
Yunex Traffic’s proven Sicore II ALPR cameras will be at the heart of the scheme, with 36 cameras to be installed at 29 permanent locations across Newcastle city centre.
“Building on the success of our work with London, Birmingham and Portsmouth, we are delighted to now also be working with the team in Newcastle and Gateshead to develop and deliver a Clean Air Zone solution to meet the area’s specific needs,” says Wilke Reints, managing director of intelligent traffic systems for Siemens Mobility Limited. With air pollution in the UK representing one of the most significant environmental risks to human health, our innovative and highly secure solutions help improve air quality, ease congestion and provide critical data for effective city developments. Building on our extensive experience with similar schemes both in the UK and internationally, we are looking forward to developing a bespoke solution that will provide benefits to the area’s residents, workers, students and visitors.”
The cameras will identify and register every vehicle that enters the zone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the information captured then being interfaced with the UK government’s national Clean Air Zone database for vehicle checking and payment.