Greater Manchester Green City Region. Creating a greener, greater city region differently

One week to go for Greater Manchester public to have their say on air pollution action plan

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is calling for final feedback on a wide range of proposals set out as part of the draft Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan.

The Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan proposes a range of measures to improve air quality and reduce emissions across Greater Manchester, focusing on ‘key priority areas’ in urban centres and near major roads which currently fail to meet UK Government and EU air quality objectives.

These proposals include:

- Continuing the £40m+ development of cycling infrastructure across Greater Manchester.

- Increasing the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points to encourage uptake of electric cars and vans and reviewing the success of existing ‘pay as you go’ car clubs.

- Upgrading and renewing the bus fleet, to take advantage of the latest diesel and hybrid engine technology, and trialling the latest ultra-low-emission buses.

- Developing large-scale urban distribution centres (UDCs) and smaller urban consolidation centres (UCCs) to reduce journeys from freight vehicles. These would consolidate orders for one or a group of businesses located in the same area into one consignment for final delivery by low-emission vehicles.

- Investigating the feasibility of introducing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), targeting high-emission vehicles.

- Improving and increasing the information and data on air pollution monitoring available to the public through the GreatAir Manchester website.

- Ongoing promotion of TfGM’s ‘Travel Choices’ programme to increase use of public transport, cycling and walking.

Air quality and carbon emissions are two of the key challenges facing Greater Manchester. Climate change is one of the most important issues on the world agenda and Greater Manchester has a responsibility to tackle carbon emissions to enable the sustainable economic growth of the region.

In addition to damaging the environment, air pollution has a harmful effect on public health and is a contributory factor in respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Jon Lamonte, TfGM Chief Executive Officer, said: “Greater Manchester has made some headway in improving air quality in our region, but to build a sustainable future in a growing economy, it is vital that we do more.

“Road transport is a major contributor to air pollution and poor air quality and, as our city region grows, there is an increased demand on public and private transport and an increased movement of goods to support business growth.

“To make the difference, we require a strong commitment from a range of organisations to meet tough targets set for air quality improvement.

“As part of this consultation, we’re asking organisations and the public to comment on plans which are designed to combat air pollution, reduce Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint and encourage low-emission behaviours in the culture and lifestyle of our communities.”

The public consultation on Greater Manchester’s draft Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan closes on Friday 29 April.

To read or download the strategy and plan and to give feedback on the plans through an online questionnaire, visit www.tfgm.com/GMLES.

Comments will be taken into consideration before the Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan are finalised later this year.

 

Main image of Manchester Skyline by Flickr user Ignacio Palomo Duarte.

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