Air quality

The main pollutants in urban air arise from road transport and industry.

Long term trends show that there has been an improvement in air quality but areas still remain above the air quality objective for the annual mean of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Every year Greater Manchester Authorities publish an Annual Status Report, which:

  • Outlines the strategies to improve local air quality and any progress made.
  • Gives a summary of local monitoring/modelling air quality data.
  • Reports on significant new developments that might affect local air quality.

The 2019 annual status report and previous years reports are available via the Clean Air Greater Manchester Website.

Continuous air quality monitoring data in Trafford is available on the Air quality England website.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan

Government has directed Greater Manchester and many other areas to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible. The fastest way to do this is a Clean Air Zone for Greater Manchester.

The 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have worked together to consider a wide range of measures to tackle air pollution, alongside a Clean Air Zone. Together, these form the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a ‘category C’ charging Clean Air Zone. This would cover local roads across the whole of Greater Manchester from Monday 30 May 2022, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The most polluting commercial vehicles would pay a daily charge to travel on local roads in the Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds would not be charged. The Zone would be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The costs of introducing a Clean Air Zone are covered by government. The project is not aimed to make money from the Zone – any income would cover its running costs and any leftover money would be spent on improving local transport.

Greater Manchester has secured more than £120m government funding to help people, businesses and organisations prepare for the Clean Air Zone.

Full details of the plan and financial assistance available to support the upgrade of non-compliant vehicles are available via the GM Clean Air Website

Greater Manchester Air Quality Action Plan

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has adopted its new Low-Emission Strategy (LES) and Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), complementing the Greater Manchester Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan which focus on measures to reduce energy usage.

The LES and AQAP aim to tackle emissions from road transport in order to improve air quality and to contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

They propose a range of policies and measures to reduce air pollution as a contributor to ill-health; support the UK Government in meeting EU air quality air quality thresholds; contribute to a reduction in Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint; and encourage a low-emission culture in the city region.

As Greater Manchester’s economy and population grow, there is increased demand for public and private transport and for movement of goods, so the need to achieve tough targets for air quality improvement and carbon reduction will require strong commitment from a wide range of organisations and potentially radical solutions to support the region’s economic, social and environmental ambitions.

To find out more about the LES and AQAP, please visit the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

Air quality reports and data

The following reports are available for download:

Additional air quality data for Trafford is available upon request, please contact the Council's Pollution team.

Trafford smoke control area

Trafford has declared the borough a smoke control area. The Council's Pollution Team investigate complaints regarding the use of solid fuel burners within the borough. Within the Trafford smoke control area you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance. Contact the Pollution Team for more information if you are considering installing a solid fuel burner or refer to the advice contained in this DEFRA document.

Reporting bonfires and smoking chimneys

If you would like to report a problem with bonfire or smoking chimney, please complete our environmental health complaints form.