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Manchester consults on cleaner air and fewer pollution deaths

Have your say on a safer, less polluted Manchester

The quality of the air in Greater Manchester is to be tackled with an action plan to bring down vehicle emissions being put to public consultation last week.

The interim city Mayor, Tony Lloyd, has launched a draft plan, with measures aimed at the worst areas near major roads - many of which fail UK and EU legal air quality standards.

Most concerning are the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter - which are mainly the result of vehicle emissions, and diesel engines are the worst offenders.

The city is not currently expected to attain its emissions targets until at least 2020.

The new measures include lower emission buses and electric vehicles, consolidating freight traffic and creating a new Clean Air Zone.

“Air quality and carbon emissions are two of the key challenges facing Greater Manchester… We must take action to stop these deaths – doing nothing is not an option”, said Tony Lloyd.

Manchester is not currently one of the five English cities to receive central Government funding for Clean Air Zones, which charge tolls to higher polluting vehicles.

But there is funding to carry out a feasibility study for a zone in Manchester, and any plans are likely to include an improvement in cycle infrastructure as a key part.

The eight-week consultation is being carried out by TfGM on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and closes on Friday April 2019 2016.

You can add your thoughts here.

Up to 2,000 excess deaths a year could be being caused by Manchester’s air pollution.

Dr Jon Lamonte, from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said: “We need to do more to reduce air pollution as a contributor to ill-health in Greater Manchester, to meet UK and EU air quality thresholds as soon as possible and, ultimately, to make low-emission behaviours an important part of our culture and lifestyles.

“Air quality and carbon emissions are two of the key challenges facing Greater Manchester. We must take action to stop these deaths – doing nothing is not an option.

“The need to achieve tough air quality improvement targets will require commitment from a range of organisations to ensure Greater Manchester’s continued development as one of the UK’s foremost city regions.”

Last year we reported how Paris went car-free for a day to explore how air pollution was affecting the city.

For one day private cars - and motorbikes - with diesel or petrol engines were shunned from the city's streets in a bid to raise awareness of the dangerous levels of pollution the city suffers, and to showcase city life without motor cars, where pedestrians and cyclists instead have priority.

Paris Sans Voitures took place ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, whose goal is to agree a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change from all nations of the world.

Pictures shared on Twitter showed what would normally be car-choked boulevards blissfully quiet.


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bikebot | 8 years ago

Manchester can't be that polluted if you can see Canary Wharf from there.

crazy-legs | 8 years ago

Last time Manchester consulted on anything (the idea of a congestion charge) the idea got a resounding NO vote so I can see the same thing happening here!

Everyone thinks something should be doe, they just don't see why THEY should have to do it.

Manchester is a strange combination of old city layout, new builds and motorway networks and as a result it's got probably the worst traffic ocngestion of anywhere outside London. Admittedly that's not helped by Mancunian Way being out of action and the extensive tram works going on across the city.

Add in a match at Old Trafford or Etihad and the place can grind to a complete halt within minutes. And yet still people sit in their cars taking 3hrs to get 8 miles!

stem | 8 years ago
1 like

Just stick 50p on a litre of diesel at the pumps.

Accessibility f... | 8 years ago

A few years back I had the misfortune of working along Oldham St in Manchester, for a few hours.  I say misfortune because the diesel fumes from the buses were so revolting that I became nauseous and almost threw up.

It's horrible down there, Deansgate is almost as bad.

I don't visit Manchester now.  I do my shopping online, or I go to the Trafford Centre.  Manchester stinks to high heaven.

/edit - I completed the questionairre on the website, it didn't take long and it's quite easy to do.  As usual, nowhere near enough emphasis is placed on walking and cycling, so I got stuck in there.

schlepcycling | 8 years ago

Why use a picture of London smog to illustrate an article about air pollution in Manchester?.

Damian M | 8 years ago

Ewan MacColl, Dirty old town  3

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