Vortex & Videalert support school streets to improve road safety and air quality

The London Borough of Waltham Forest in North-East London has implemented a pollution reduction and traffic management scheme on specific school streets.

Scott Sutton - 16 December 2022

Traffic-free zone primary school

Working in partnership with Vortex and Videalert, the London council is using CCTV camera technology and hyperlocal, air quality monitoring sensors to implement zero-traffic school streets successfully.

A school-street initiative is a road closure strategy to create safer streets for everyone by reducing traffic and improving local air quality. It involves temporarily closing one or more roads surrounding a school to most vehicles for a short period at the start and end of the school day.

With all air quality sensors manufactured in-house by Vortex, the VTX Air sensors have been installed at primary schools alongside Videalert’s RDS CCTV cameras with six camera units and six air quality sensors deployed at each school.

Our goal is to make Waltham Forest a safer place to live. Thanks to the installation of VTX Air sensors and Videalert CCTV cameras, we now have real-time insight into our air quality and controlled traffic measures that aim to improve road safety, improve traffic flow and reduce traffic-related emissions.

Anthony Hall Assistant Director for Highways and Parking Services at Waltham Forest

This initiative, which will leverage the power of digital technology, will also attempt to minimise anti-social behaviour caused by improper parking and dangerous vehicle manoeuvres, whilst boosting school accessibility.

With fewer vehicles on the school run, this will improve traffic flow for the rest of the neighbourhood and make it easier for pupils, parents, teachers, and staff to walk, wheel, or bike to school. Similarly, there will be fewer idling vehicles at school gates, which will result in fewer emissions circulating in the air.

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Children wheeling to school

To validate the natural environmental benefits of this intervention, air quality sensors have been installed to analyse the impact of school street closures on air pollution levels.

By collecting hyperlocal, real-time data before and after the intervention, the Council can verify its success by viewing its bespoke dashboard that provides comprehensive coverage of various gasses and air pollutants that are recorded and updated every five minutes.

Working together with Waltham Forest, we are excited to support their school streets programme that aims to protect the safety of children during peak school times

Dieter Hering Client Account Manager at Marston Holdings

Hering continued: "Through using Vortex and Videalert's respected technologies, parents and children walking to school can enjoy the vehicle-free zone and not worry about the dangerous pollutants often generated by high traffic congestion."

Vortex, a leader in the air quality monitoring field, has provided the sensor technology, wireless network, and maintenance support for the project.

VTX Air, active monitoring sensors are deployed on a highly secure decentralised Mesh network, and powered by AI, ensuring constant calibration with Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) stations with any required configurations performed over the air- priced for high density and scalable deployment.

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