THE air quality in Bradford city centre will be monitored by the next generation of phone booths.

In the past year a number of the city’s phone booths have been removed and replaced with high tech “Inlink” units. The boards allow the public to charge their phones, access council services, use WiFi and make phone calls.

And the monoliths will now be used to monitor Bradford’s air quality.

The city centre is one of the first areas in the UK to trial monitoring air quality from the digital street units.

Air quality data is collected every minute from modular sensors integrated into a number of the InLinks recently installed in locations such as Bridge Street.

Data is then available in real time via BT’s data hub for Bradford Council’s Health and Wellbeing department, helping to guide initiatives to reduce air pollution in the area.

Last year Bradford Council was warned of the dangerously high levels of air pollution in certain areas of the district, and is currently drawing up plans to bring these levels down.

The Council says that utilising the InLinks for air quality sensing avoids the need for additional street clutter, with the ultrafast Wi-Fi providing a reliable way to transmit the information in real time.

This monitoring will complement the Council’s existing air quality monitoring network of seven real time monitors and 80 nitrogen dioxide tubes

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This is a great way for us to get real time useful data from units that are already placed in the city centre.

“We all need to understand and take responsibility for the implications air pollution has not only on the environment but also how it affects our health, especially children, the elderly and people with heart and lung problems.

“Being able to use this data from the city centre will add to the number of initiatives we already have in place to tackle air pollution and improve air quality.”

Neil Scoresby, General Manager Payphones and InLinkUK commented: “We are excited to utilise InLinks to help Bradford Council to monitor air pollution in their local community.

“By collecting air quality data at multiple points and more often, it is possible for Bradford Council to gain a much better understanding of air pollution in real time via the BT data hub. This helps to inform the council’s improvement actions and wider clean air initiatives.”

Units have either been installed, or anre in the process of being installed at Bradford sites including White Abbey Road, the Junction Of Manchester Road and Newall Street, outside the Gallopers on Wakefield Road, on St Thomas’s Road, Chester Street and Bridge Street.

Other cities will benefit from the air quality measuring features in the coming months.