AQM sign encourages active travel and reduced vehicle movements

Following a successful eight-month trial at the HQ of a major international retailer based in Leicestershire, an air quality monitoring (AQM) sign is now in permanent use.

The sign, supplied and installed by LRSC website sponsors Westcotec, is being used within the extensive Next headquarters, located just off the M69 at Enderby in Leicestershire.

Next are keen to encourage active travel among employees and to reduce vehicle movement in and around the business.

Sarah McAlinden, Travel2Next facilities coordinator, commissioned the trial of the AQM sign because she wanted employees to be able to check air quality levels before deciding how they would travel to work – especially those who live within walking and cycling distance.

Solar powered and portable, the AQM sign is currently located outside a large multi-storey car park on site, but there are plans to move it to a location outside the on-site creche.

If air quality levels are good, the sign displays a ‘smiley’ face with an ‘Air Quality Good’ legend.

Conversely, if levels are poor a ‘sad’ face with ‘Air Quality Poor’ legend is displayed.

The same information is also publicly available online, updated every two minutes, so employees can check air quality before travelling to work.

Solar-powered signs require a minimum of disruption during installation, and there have been no technical problems with the sign throughout the eight-month trial period.

Sarah McAlinden said: “We wanted to empower our people with knowledge and understanding about the air they were breathing.

“The Westcotec sign gives us an ideal way of providing accurate information on air pollution that we can pinpoint to our precise location.

“By pairing this with an energetic communications message, we can be sure that everyone who comes onto the site will have a better understanding of the health risks – and can play their part in making improvements to our air quality.

“It has been a pleasure working with Westcotec. As well as demonstrating the highest levels of technical know-how, their flexible and friendly approach has made them a great team to work with.”

For more information about the AQM, or any of Westcotec’s signs, please call 01362 853124 or email

09 November 2021