Greater Manchester planning to tackle air pollution

Trafford Council is being asked to approve plans to tackle air pollution in the borough and across Greater Manchester.

The proposals form part of a Greater Manchester’s efforts to deal with dangerously high levels of the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The government has instructed the region to develop a Clean Air Plan to reduce NO2 on local roads as soon as possible.

It has been estimated that polluted air contributes to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths a year in Greater Manchester alone. Road transport causes 80% of NO2 emissions at the roadside, mainly from diesel vehicles. 

So Greater Manchester is now working together to produce a single approach for the whole city region.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has a collaborative approach to dealing the problem. It has agreed a plan which sets out an outline business case proposing a package of measures to significantly reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from road vehicles.

It puts forward an unprecedented upgrade programme to clean up the city-region’s bus, HGV, taxi and van fleets – future-proofing the road transport system and helping to make it, and the environment, fit for residents today and for generations to come.

It also proposes a Clean Air Zone covering all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities, including Trafford, a population of nearly three million people across 500 square miles, the largest outside London. The zone would require owners of high-polluting, non-compliant HGVs, buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, vans and minibuses – but not cars – to pay a daily penalty to drive in Greater Manchester.

The 10 local authorities are now being asked to consider the outline business case for the proposals which needs to be submitted to the government by the end of this month.

Trafford Council’s Executive is being asked to agree to the plan at a meeting on Monday, March 18.

Cllr Steve Adshead, Trafford Council's Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change, said:

Doing nothing is not an option for Trafford or Greater Manchester. Air pollution is having a significant impact on the health of people in the borough and we need to tackle the issue.

These measures we are proposing will clean up the air we breathe as quickly and effectively as possible, while also protecting people, businesses and the economy in Trafford and Greater Manchester.”

Once the plan has been submitted to the government people will be given an opportunity in early summer to give feedback and help shape the detailed proposals.

A statutory consultation will also follow, giving another opportunity for comment and the feedback will be taken into consideration before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for further consideration and approval.

A full business case would then be developed by the end of 2019 and, subject to government funding, measures would be introduced by 2021.

Posted on Friday 15th March 2019