Trafford residents and business urged to have their say on roadside air pollution

Residents and businesses in Trafford are being encouraged to give their views on plans to tackle air pollution across the borough and Greater Manchester.

Proposals have been drawn up to clean up dirty air at the roadside, which is the most serious environmental health issue facing the city-region.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental public health issue facing the UK, with air pollution estimated to contribute to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths in Greater Manchester each year.

It is linked to a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including lung and heart diseases, some cancers, strokes and asthma.

The ‘Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceedances’ (GM Clean Air Plan) proposes a package of measures to significantly reduce NO2 emissions from the most polluting road vehicles, which are linked to a range of serious health problems and reduced life expectancy.

A seven-week clean air conversation has been launched and runs until Sunday 30 June.

Staff from Trafford Council will be on hand to answer questions and give out information about the proposals in George Street, Altrincham town centre, this Friday (May 17) from 10am onwards.

The spotlight will be on the town as it has been selected to be the pilot town for a major new initiative called National High Street Perfect Day.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said:

This conversation is a real chance for those people and businesses who could be affected by the proposals – and anyone who cares about cleaning up the air we all breathe – to give their views and help us shape the right solutions for Greater Manchester.”

More information is available at cleanairgm.com, where people can fill out a survey to give detailed feedback on the GM Clean Air Plan proposals, which include:

  • An unprecedented £116m upgrade programme to clean up the city-region’s bus, coach, minibus, HGV, taxi and van fleets over the next two-to-four years.
  • A Clean Air Zone covering all 10 Greater Manchester local council areas with a population of nearly three million people across 500 square miles, the largest proposed Clean Air Zone outside London. The zone would mean that high-polluting, non-compliant HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, vans, motorhomes, motorised horseboxes (with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes when not carrying a load)and minibuses – but not cars – would be subject to a daily penalty to travel in Greater Manchester.
  • Significant investment in 600 new public rapid electric vehicle charging points across the city-region – nearly trebling the size of the GMEV electric charging network.

Greater Manchester’s proposals include a request to national government for a major package of funding to help clean up Greater Manchester’s air while supporting businesses to upgrade vehicles and sustaining economic growth.

The proposed Clean Air Zone would be implemented from 2021 and would initially mean that buses, coaches, HGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles that do not meet emission standards would be required to pay a daily penalty to drive in Greater Manchester.

From 2023 the Clean Air Zone would also include non-compliant vans, minibuses, motorhomes and motorised horseboxes – when the availability of compliant vans on the market will make switching a viable option.

Chris Fletcher, Marketing & Campaigns Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:

Greater Manchester businesses need to let our local decision-makers know how the Clean Air Plan proposals would affect them. Business input will be crucial to make sure the detailed plan offers the right support for business, from sole traders to large companies. So I’d urge all businesses across our region to find out about the proposals and give their feedback on this very important issue.”

Once the conversation responses have been used to further develop the Greater Clean Air Plan, a statutory public consultation will take place on detailed proposals.

A final business case for the GM Clean Air Plan would be developed by the end of 2019, following public consultation, and subject to further local authority approvals.

To find out more and take part in the survey, visit cleanairgm.com.

Posted on Wednesday 15th May 2019
 

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