Somerset Council selects EarthSense solution to monitor air quality


EarthSense, the air quality specialist, has announced that Somerset Council is using a solution consisting of Zephyr air quality monitors, MappAir model and MyAir data portal to learn more about air pollution in the county and how to keep levels below national objectives.

The EarthSense solution will help inform Somerset Council’s Air Quality Steering Group’s future decisions regarding highways and traffic issues in the area, including possible interventions to reduce exposure. The insights will help the Council to produce action plans outlining the measures to be taken to improve air quality, particularly in areas with AQMAs (Air Quality Management Area). There are currently three AQMAs in the region – one in Yeovil, two in Taunton and one in Frome – and efforts are being made to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in these areas.

A spokesperson at Somerset Council, said: “Somerset Council is committed to maintaining a clean and safe environment for the benefit of everyone in Somerset – promoting fairness, economic growth and community safety. As pollutant levels increase the adverse effects on health increase, which we are determined to address. The majority of air quality pollution in Somerset is caused by road traffic therefore restricting traffic in the town centre could be a suitable measure to reduce pollution levels. Working with EarthSense will help us to understand what we’re dealing with and when we’re making a difference. This is all part of our climate strategy to become a greener more sustainable Somerset.”

Tom Hall, Managing Director, EarthSense, said: “Using a combination of MyAir, MappAir and Zephyr technologies will deliver a comprehensive picture of pollution for Somerset Council. This means the Council will be able to introduce suitable measures to mitigate increased pollution levels. It’s important that we work with councils across the UK to help them with their requirement to monitor air quality to guarantee it isn’t reaching dangerous levels and potentially harming members of the public.”

Two Zephyr monitors are located in Taunton, on East Reach and North Street, two in Yeovil on Sherborne Road and Bond Street, and one in Frome on Portway. The monitors provide readings every 10 minutes, enabling a detailed understanding of factors affecting localised pollution levels. The monitors will remain in place for three years.

Data from EarthSense’s monitors will be available to the Council who will specifically look at the levels of nitrogen oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone, and three sizes of particulate (PM1, PM2.5 and PM10) to make sure they are below national objectives.


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About Author


Saul Wordsworth is editor-at-large of Traffic Technology International (TTi), and presenter and producer of the TTi Podcast. He is an author and keen cyclist, and lives in north London.