Sutton has been awarded part of a £4 million fund to develop an advanced wireless sensor network which will monitor the environment and transport system.

The South London Partnership, which also comprises Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Richmond, will use the award to create an 'internet of things', a monitoring system which uses sensors placed across council boundaries to gather data about air quality, traffic, footfall and parking space availability.

Funded by the London business rates pilot, the project aims to help people live help people live healthier, independent lives and deliver significant cost savings to the borough.

Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “This project is a great example of how we are being ambitious for Sutton.

“We could use air quality and location data to show how people’s health is affected in certain areas, allowing us to make plans to reduce pollutants to create cleaner and healthier places and help businesses to thrive in more vibrant town centres.

"We could investigate smart street lighting systems that selectively dim or brighten the lights depending on weather, traffic flows, the time of day or upon requests from emergency services.

"Smart traffic lights could improve traffic flow, reducing emissions, saving fuel.

"Local restaurants could tailor their opening times based on where and when people visit certain locations.

"Drivers could detect the nearest available parking spot, saving time and fuel.

“These are just a few ideas that could help regenerate the borough.

"The benefits to residents and businesses could be huge, making Sutton an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.”

Detailed information gathered about how spaces in the borough are used can allow the transport system to be made more efficient.

Combining air quality and location data can reveal how many people’s health is affected in certain areas, helping reduce pollutants.

Ultimately, a national local government internet of things network and platform could be developed, including the safe and secure sharing of data between councils, universities and the public.