Motorways Could be Roofed Over to Curb Pollution

By Gary Cutlack on at

Highways England is investigating ways to make the motorways less of an open sewer of nitrogen oxides leaking into the surroundings, and it's got nothing to do with electric cars, bike lanes or taxing people per metre driven. They're looking at physically covering up the busiest parts of roads with NOx-absorbing materials, roofing the drivers into their own toxic underground hell.

That's one option on the table, at least. HE has published a big Air Quality Strategy document [PDF] which describes the possible motorway lids as being constructed from a "...barrier incorporating a new polymer material with the potential to absorb NO2," with tests also being conducted on vehicles that run on paraffinic fuel to lessen output of the dread NOx family.

More realistic pollution reducing methods include financial incentives to encourage fleets to modernise their gaseous HGVs, using travel data to speed the flow of traffic in pollution hotspots, and, obviously, trying to encourage the uptake of EVs by ensuring there's a rapid-charge point every 20 miles or so across the busiest parts of the road network. [Highways England via The Times]

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