Siemens Mobility awarded Portsmouth, UK, Clean Air Zone design contract

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The UK’s Portsmouth City Council has awarded Siemens Mobility Limited a contract to design a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to the south west side of the city. The implementation of a CAZ is planned to ensure the city achieves compliance with legal limits of nitrogen dioxide levels in the shortest possible time.

Siemens Mobility is working closely with the Council, central government’s Joint Air Quality Unit and other programme partners to design a robust and reliable CAZ solution, which will use the company’s proven automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera monitoring and enforcement technology and expertise to improve air quality in the city.

The scheme will discourage drivers of the most polluting buses, coaches, lorries, taxis and private hire vehicles from entering the zone and encourage them to upgrade to cleaner, low- or no-emission vehicles.

Wilke Reints, MD, Siemens Mobility ITS, UK

Commenting on the programme, Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility in the UK, said: “As traffic levels nationally return to pre-lockdown levels, air quality remains a major concern for local authorities, and is the most significant environmental risk to people’s health.

“With our UK manufacturing base in Poole, we have the capability and operational flexibility to meet the demand for clean air solutions which are playing a vital role in not only improving air quality, but also changing drivers’ behaviour.

“We are continuing to work with customers to deliver tailored solutions that will have an immediate positive impact on air quality and the health and wellbeing of their city’s residents, workers and visitors. This CAZ solution is a perfect example, building on our extensive experience with similar schemes both in the UK and internationally.”

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “It is important we do all we can do to improve air quality in Portsmouth, as polluted air impacts everyone’s health.

“Improving cleaner travel options is essential to the future of our city, so I’m pleased that Siemens Mobility will bring their vast experience of Clean Air Zone solutions and ANPR technology to the design of the Portsmouth CAZ.

“We must all take action to improve air quality and the CAZ is a significant part of the work we’re doing to tackle air pollution in the city. This is supported by a number of other activities, including providing more Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points and retrofitting over 100 local buses so they meet cleaner Euro 6 standards.”

Siemens Mobility’s Sicore II ANPR cameras will be at the heart of the scheme and will be installed at 42 locations across the zone.

The cameras will identify and register every vehicle that enters the zone, with the information captured then being interfaced with the UK government’s national Clean Air Zone database for vehicle checking and payment.

The Council carried out a public consultation regarding their plans in July and August 2020. With detailed site surveys now underway, the Portsmouth Clean Air Zone is expected to be ready for live testing in August 2021, with full implementation planned for November 2021.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).