Published: 04 August 2021

GLL helps to monitor pollution levels in Woking

Guildford Living Lab has been working with Woking Green Party to set up the town’s first air pollution monitoring network.

Jennifer Mason holding sensor
Woking Green Party member, Jennifer Mason

Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and Guildford Living Lab (GLL) have helped to implement the Woking Green Party PM2.5 Monitoring Network, an initiative which aims to measure pollution levels around Woking over the next 12 months.

Beginning in July, eight portable particulate matter (PM) air pollution sensors were installed at different locations, from South West Woking to nearby Byfleet, and will also be used on a temporary to measure pollution levels near to the town centre and on busy main roads at peak traffic times.

As part of the initiative, the GLL team at Surrey – led by Professor Prashant Kumar – has conducted a laboratory assessment of the Davis Airlink sensors being used in the initiative in GCARE’s state-of-the-art ENVILUTION chamber. The team will also work closely with Woking Green Party to evaluate the measurement results after three, six and 12 months, giving a full picture of pollution levels throughout the year.

The Woking pollution monitoring network has been initiated because of increasing concerns about air pollution in Woking, which currently has no PM2.5 monitors. Real-time readings from the network are being made available to the public via WeatherLink. The findings will also be published on the EU/EEA European Index of Air Quality.

Professor Prashant Kumar, founding Director of GCARE and Associate Dean (International) said:

“It is highly encouraging to see community groups coming forward to help fight the intractable issue of air pollution. This is an excellent example of a community-run sensor network collaborating with researchers from GCARE as a part of our GLL commitment to work with local communities. The initiative is taking a truly ‘citizen science’ approach and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work together with this group of highly driven and committed people to help bring positive change to the air pollution situation in Woking.”

Jennifer Mason, a member of the member of Woking Green Party said: “A review of interventions to improve outdoor air quality and public health reported equivalent to between 28,000-36,000 deaths each year attributable to human-made air pollution in the United Kingdom through its contribution towards increased levels of heart disease, lung cancer and strokes.  As a member of the Green Party and standing representative in the 2022 elections I am very proud to be part of this project.  The Green Party have set up a network of monitors across Woking to study the current air pollution levels and ensure we are not exceeding the recommend minimum levels.”

Woking Green Party member Nigel Ridgeon, who also initiated the project, said: “It’s critical to the success of the Woking initiative that the air pollution data we gather is of the highest quality, and that the public can access the findings easily. Close collaboration with Professor Kumar of the University of Surrey and Prodata Weather Systems (UK distributor of Davis Instruments) has therefore been crucial to our initiative. Woking Green Party looks forward to being able to deliver real insight into pollution levels which will drive better decisions and actions regarding the Woking environment.”


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