Which are the most polluted subway lines in London? It will soon be possible to find out, at a glance, thanks to an application by Tanya Beri, a UX designer and founder of CAIR London, who has won a 2022/2023 Young Innovators Award for her creation.
Beri’s CAIR app seeks to offer passengers on London’s subway network – known as the London Underground – routes with minimal levels of air pollution. The 29-year-old Londoner has even won one of Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Awards for her project. Her app proposes to provide real-time information to passengers using the British capital’s subway network, so that they can find out which routes are the least polluted.
While the Beri was inspired by journey planning services such as Google Maps in designing her application, she chose to focus on a very specific criterion. Indeed, depending on the pollution level of the stations, the routes proposed can be significantly longer.
However, they can help reduce passengers’ exposure to pollution, sometimes reducing exposure to fine particles from 220 particles per cubic meter to about 50 particles per cubic meter, the developer told The Guardian. She goes on to remind us that the safe limit set by the UK health authorities for healthy air is less than 25 small particles per cubic meter of air.
“The London Underground is exposing you to air pollution (PM2.5) 7x above the World Health Organization’s recommended safe limit,” explains Beri on the website of her company, CAIR London. “The model of trains that we use have until very recently been old, and they still aren't strong enough to withstand the pollution.”
The prize she has now received will allow her and her fellow winners to share grants worth some £1.25mil (RM6.56mil). This will help fund the development of her application, which is expected to launch in 2023.
Air pollution in subway systems has become a real public health issue, and not just in London. In June 2022, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) raised concerns about pollution in the Paris Métro. According to their estimates, the air quality in the French capital’s subway networks is, on average, three times higher in fine particles than above ground, and well above the thresholds set by the WHO. – AFP Relaxnews