Consultancy assists with launch of Herts and Beds air pollution alert system

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Launched in early March by 11 Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire local authorities, the new ‘Herts & Beds Air Pollution Alert System’ website and notification service is being delivered by Ricardo Energy & Environment

The free alert service, managed by Ricardo, is designed to help those living and working in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire region to understand their exposure to air pollution and access advice on limiting risk. In instances where local air pollution increases to a moderate level or above, the free notification service provides a text or email alert straight to users’ mobile phones.

The alerts are sent out when moderate, high, or very high levels of air pollution are forecast. Inhabitants of the local area can sign up to the free service and specify their notification preferences via the Air Quality England website at: http://www.airqualityengland.co.uk/local-authority/knr-subscription.

The air pollution website complements the alert service, providing ‘at-a-glance’ air quality information for the area. Coloured markers on a regional map pinpoint areas with increased pollution levels, providing an easily accessible pollution summary to visitors to the site.

The launch of this new air pollution alert service is timely as the UK Government recently published its Clean Air Strategy, which looks to local authorities to provide pollution alerts and cut pollution.

County councillor Tim Hutchings, Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for public health and prevention said: “Poor air quality affects everyone, but it has a disproportionate impact on the young, the old, the sick and the poor. It is not an easy challenge to solve and can only be tackled through collective action. I am delighted to support this initiative, it will provide an early warning service which will enable people to take action using, if necessary, to minimise the effects of pollution episodes on their health.”

Sean Christiansen, air quality director at Ricardo Energy & Environment, said: “Ricardo is proud to be supporting the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire region to deliver a service that will help local residents to better manage their air pollution exposure. Developing systems to summarize and simplify large volumes of complex data, and present them in a way that is readily accessible and easy to comprehend by the general public is a challenge – but we are confident that the Herts & Beds Air Pollution Alert System is up to this task. We are working closely with the various local partners to ensure the new system meets the needs of local users, delivering a vital and reliable service that supports the public to lead healthier lives.”

Ricardo is a leading developer of bespoke air quality data management and information dissemination services, serving a broad range of clients in both the public and private sector, as well as local and national government. All Ricardo managed websites are developed in-house by a team of digital specialists, using advanced web management, analysis and visualisation tools – in collaboration with Ricardo’s air quality experts – to deliver digital solutions that transform data into actionable insights, that support better decision making.

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Consultancy assists with launch of Herts and Beds air pollution alert system