In response to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy published recently Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:
“This Clean Air Strategy is a missed opportunity to provide greater clarity on how emissions monitoring equipment and systems will be developed in order to inform decision-making, especially for the transport sector where significant reductions still need to be made.
“For example, electric-diesel bi-mode trains are mentioned in the strategy as a solution to reduce emissions in rail. However, we know these trains produce greater emissions when operating in diesel mode than pure electric trains and are less powerful when working in diesel mode (8.6 kw/tonne) compared with electric mode (11.2 kW/tonne).
“This means that we need to examine the evidence relating to emissions from transport in much more detail before we decide on the best solutions.
“New monitoring systems are needed to record all types of pollution including oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and ultra-fine particles (UFP).
“This will provide us with a complete picture of our baseline pollutants, which would enable us to monitor peaks throughout the day.
“These data will enable prioritisation of investment schemes to reduce pollutants in an evidence-based way.
“Our A Breath of Fresh Air report, released in January this year, called for a Clean Air Act which would mandate the monitoring of transport emissions so pollution can be tackled in a logical way, based on evidence.”