1. ITV Report

New technology to divert cars away from pollution hotspots in Bedfordshire

Vehicles will be diverted away from pollution hotspots Credit: ITV Anglia

New technology to divert vehicles away from pollution hotspots is being trialled for the first time in the UK.

The air monitoring system, which was made in Dereham in Norfolk, is being tested out by Central Bedfordshire council.

It will restrict access for motorists to certain streets if pollution levels get too high.

The system is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK and one of only a few worldwide to place real-time restrictions on vehicle access.

We previously had to wait for data, meaning we were unable to make on-the-spot interventions.

Now, by integrating the real-time data with other roadside technology, we can take immediate action.

– Tim Oxley, the council's senior road safety officer
New technology is being developed that links air quality readings with traffic signs Credit: PA

The system uses a network of real-time monitoring stations to detect levels of nitrogen dioxide from vehicle exhausts.

Other countries, including India, have already introduced a similar system to combat dangerous pollution levels. Last year Delhi prevented 1.2 million vehicles a day from entering the city to bring down levels of toxic air.

Concerns are growing over pollution levels in built-up areas, with as many as 40,000 premature deaths a year linked to poor air quality.

A thick blanket of fog covering Delhi