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Full extent of Greater Manchester’s air quality problem revealed in new report

Many more parts of Greater Manchester have higher levels of air pollution than previously thought, a report published today reveals.

152 stretches of road in Greater Manchester will still be in breach of legal limits for concentrations of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) beyond 2020 unless action is taken.

This new analysis is set out in a report to be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on Friday 26 October setting out progress on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental public health issue facing the UK. Road transport causes 80% of NO2 emissions at the roadside, mainly from diesel vehicles.

Pollutants are linked to a wide range of serious health problems, reduced life expectancy, and contribute to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths a year in Greater Manchester alone.

A new Greater Manchester public health campaign and air quality website – www.CleanAirGM.com – will raise awareness of the serious impacts of air pollution and show how residents, businesses and local authorities can work together to tackle it. The website will also give latest details on the development of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

Last year the Government’s broad-brush national air pollution model identified just 11 locations in Greater Manchester which are expected to contravene NOlimits beyond 2020.

Detailed local modelling published today has shown the problem not only to be more widespread but also worse, with higher levels of NOthan expected.

Greater Manchester is one of dozens of areas in the UK instructed by Government to put forward proposals to tackle NO2 air pollution on local roads as soon as possible.

All ten Greater Manchester councils are developing a single Clean Air Plan to reduce NOin close collaboration with Public Health England and the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU).

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is working closely with the 10 councils to produce the draft plan.

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