Clean Air Zones

Date: 20th March 2019
Time: 18:30 – Refereshments from 6:30pm for a 7pm start
Speaker: John Rendall
Location: Pitstop Cafe, WMG, University of Warwick
BCS Meetings are free to attend.


Ella Kissi-Debrah died in February 2013 after three years of seizures and 27 visits to hospital for asthma attacks. The nine-year-old lived 25 metres from London’s South Circular Road, which has notoriously high levels of pollution. In a report into her death, Professor Stephen Holgate, an expert on asthma and air pollution, said there was a “striking association” between the times she was admitted to hospital and recorded spikes in nitrogen dioxide and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants, near her home.

Elsewhere it has been estimated, according to the findings from the Global Burden of Disease project – a two-year project involving more than 40 international researchers – that Pollution is killing 50,000 people a year in the UK. The report shows the world’s air quality is reaching “crisis point” and must be dealt with urgently.

As motor vehicle exhaust gasses have been identified as a significant factor in the production of pollution, mainly Nitrous Oxide and fine soot, the London Mayor has announced an initiative to reduce pollution initially within Central London but later within Inner London, with plans to tighten the emission standards across the whole of the Greater London area within 3 years. A number of city councils are watching the implementation and outcome… one of them could be yours…

Although this talk was originally billed as “Road User Charging”, this has been overtaken by events, with the introduction of the “Toxicity Charge” (T-Charge) and the go-live of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone on the 8th April 2019. With Birmingham City and others looking into the Clean Air Strategy of the London Mayor, this talk has changed scope and emphasis, however at the root all such schemes involve encouraging smarter road usage by differential charging for using designated roads.

John started his career as a hardware engineer, however for many years has worked in the IT and software tools arena, ending his career at Marconi writing embedded control software, before moving to a sub-contractor where he wrote safety-critical engine management software for Rolls-Royce.

Latterly, John is, in a small way, helping the London Mayor to implement the large pollution reduction project, the first phase of which goes live on the 8th April 2019… In this talk John will outline some of the ways pollution (and congestion) can be tackled and will explore some possibilities for future developments.

Comments are closed.