Traffic surveys could contribute to lower air pollution

Understanding more about how traffic uses our road system and how we can plan transport to reduce congestion could help towns and cities across the UK to lower the amount of pollution. Traffic surveys are a key way to take stock of current traffic volumes and journeys, and the data they produce can influence planning and infrastructure decisions.

Why is air pollution important?

Earlier this month, the European Commission issued a warning to the UK government about the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air in cities including London, Leeds, Southampton and Glasgow – showing that the problem stretches the length of the country. The Commission says that poor air quality contributes to the early death of up to 400,000 people in the UK every year, and that the government is failing to deal with the problem adequately. And we’re not the only ones – the Commission has also sent similar warnings to the governments of Germany, France and Spain.

How can traffic surveys help?

Air pollution is caused by a number of things, and it is generally accepted that, in our cities, traffic has one of the biggest influences on air quality. Reducing the number of vehicles within a city, using electric vehicles rather than diesel-powered ones and encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport are all strategies used by local authorities to help reduce both pollution and general congestion, and it’s here that surveys can play a vital role, allowing you to see:

  • Traffic counts at peak and off-peak times
  • Numbers and types of vehicles using any given road
  • Journey times on specific routes in and out of the centre of a town or city
  • Traffic flow around specific junctions, motorway intersections or developments
  • Parking issues in and around key areas such as public transport stations, business parks, shopping centres and residential developments

Designed to collect data in the best form for the research taking place, traffic surveys produce valuable information for decision-makers. As strict controls on air pollution are enforced, and governments and local authorities are put under more pressure to improve conditions, data on these issues will become increasingly valuable.

Traffic surveys from RDS

At Road Data Services we specialist in a range of surveys for planning authorities, local and national government agencies and private developers. Our surveys are tailored to each individual project and carried out using the latest technology to ensure accuracy. To find out more about how we can help you understand traffic and pedestrian movement in your area, contact us today.

Classified Counts | Speed Surveys | Video Surveys | Parking Surveys | Public Transport Surveys