A year long research programme to measure car emissions around Slough schools has received almost £100,000 in funding.

Slough Borough Council was one of 28 local authorities projects to receive funding from the government to investigate nitrogen dioxide pollution. The results will be used to better understand the impact that idling vehicles have on air quality.

New technology sensors will be placed in strategic positions around three schools in the borough yet to be decided, for 12 months starting this summer.

The council has a legal duty to review and assess local air quality, pinpointing locations where concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulates exceed targets of 40 microgrammes per metre cubed. There are already five air quality management areas identified which exceed the EU limit for nitrogen dioxide in the borough.

Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “The project will focus on nitrogen dioxide emissions originating from idling vehicles and congestion around three schools.

“This will be achieved by installing air quality sensors on lamp posts close to school boundaries, so the impact of idling vehicles during peak school pick up and drop off times can be monitored.

“One of the key objectives within Slough’s five year plan is to protect the livelihood and wellbeing of children. As the health impacts related to poor air quality are becoming more apparent, the need to monitor the impact of vehicle emissions outside of schools is increasing.

“We must show people what damage they are doing to their own children outside all schools but this will enable us to identify the worst cases and take extra measures for local communities.

“Continuous monitoring of air quality outside of schools will also allow the impact of air quality awareness and public health campaigns to be observed.”

More than £3 million was available from the government’s air quality grant for 28 projects to benefit and implement measures for local communities.