Life-saving air quality plans given green light in Greater Manchester
1 August 2016 • Author(s): Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
Measures to improve air quality and help tackle thousands of premature deaths a year have been given the green light by Greater Manchester’s leaders.
The updated Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy (LES) and Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) have been agreed at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
The documents, which were also ratified by members of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee on 15 July 2016, will be finalised and published later this year ahead of the air quality and emission reduction programmes being implemented.
The Air Quality Action Plan, feeding into the over-arching Low-Emission Strategy, includes 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.
- 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.
- Increasing the number of EV charging points to encourage uptake of electric cars and vans and a review of the success of existing ‘pay-as-you-go’ car clubs.
- Working more closely with the freight logistics sector to explore opportunities to introduce more sustainable measures into GM operations.
- Investigating the feasibility of introducing a 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.
- Continuing the £40m+ development of cycling infrastructure across Greater Manchester.
- Ongoing promotion of TfGM’s ‘Travel Choices’ programme to increase use of public transport, cycling and walking.
The GMCA approval follows an eight-week public consultation on draft editions of the plans earlier in 2016.
TfGM, which ran the consultation, received more than 180 responses, with around 75% from members of the public and 25% from public and private sector organisations including environmental protection bodies, industry, trade associations and transport operators.