In a pilot scheme devised by Imperial College London, the capital has trialled new mobile pollution monitors, which it is hoped will help to identify pollution hotspots and identify contributory factors, such as poor traffic management.

Pedestrians and cyclists used mobile phones to transmit data from pocket-sized sensors while buses and cars were fitted with sensors that take readings every five seconds using ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy technology, giving information on levels of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides in the air.

Sensors placed on lampposts and traffic lights will be used to produce three-dimensional models of pollution clouds, and to track under what circumstances clouds form and disperse.

Professor John Plak of the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London said,

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