Cities account for over 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide. Particulate matter, a major air pollutant from vehicle emissions, leads to an estimated 348,000 premature deaths annually in Europe.
Society’s growing and justifiable concerns about noise and pollution through high emission vehicles and traffic congestion need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. National governments as well as cities and towns can be given heavy financial penalties by the European Court of Justice if they are not seen to improve air quality.
Low Emission Zone in London
Since 2008, proven traffic monitoring equipment from Siemens has been used by Transport for London (TfL) as part of the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ), the first of its kind in the UK and the largest in the world to discourage the use of the most polluting lorries, coaches and buses to improve air quality and health across the capital.
The system uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at locations across the Capital to capture details of number plates, enabling TfL to identify those vehicles which do not meet the emissions standards of the Low Emission Zone.
The Low Emission Zone cameras are established at major points on the road network where high volumes of vehicular traffic have been identified. These are supplemented by a number of mobile camera units to randomly sample other routes. The technology utilised at the roadside captures the unique number plate identifier, which is processed against vehicle records; to identify known high polluting vehicles.
In order to maximise improvements in air quality and health benefits the Low Emission Zone covers most of Greater London and operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
GreenZone: The new Siemens Low Emission Zone solution
GreenZone is a world first and meets an expanding need in the marketplace globally – helping cities, towns and national governments to improve the air quality for their citizens and providing an effective traffic management tool for meeting local, national and international environmental and climate change commitments.
Newly developed,, GreenZone is a modular, scalable, innovative, highly secure, efficient and effective solution that is already helping to address city air quality problems and significantly more cost effective than any currently installed system.
GreenZone is a flexible automatically enforced low emission zone solution that uses best in class Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to interrogate vehicle databases and monitor and control the passage of highly polluting vehicles through designated geographic areas.
Requiring no customer-hosted IT infrastructure and using visually unobtrusive roadside equipment, the solution combines proven enforcement systems, monitoring technology and communications which includes Siemens’ Sicore ANPR cameras coupled with advanced data processing and back-office technology which is hosted on a cloud for the first time.
In addition to hosting the system, Siemens can offer innovative funding solutions to ease the cost of the deployment. These rental packages cover all equipment and implementation costs and ongoing maintenance.
The benefits of Siemens GreenZone hosted solution:
- Offers demonstrable air quality improvements
- No client IT infrastructure required
- Offers tangible society benefits to balance against costs
- Low cost implementation and annual subscription
- GreenZone is almost infinitely scalable
- Redundancy offered as standard
- Very low incidence of offender evasion
- Can be installed using existing street furniture
- High quality Siemens service level agreements
- Europe-wide coverage and support
- Can be provided as a complete service offering
The UK has been formally issued with a written notice from the European Commission for its failure to comply with mandated air quality limits. If the UK is not able to satisfy the EC’s conditions, then the European Court of Justice has the power and remit to issue financial penalties of up to £300m per year on the UK. This potential huge financial penalty can be passed down by central government to local authorities / cities / towns. A LEZ can therefore be used as a local tool, not only to improve air quality but to also help avoid potential financial penalties, strengthening the implementation business case.