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What are we doing >  Air Quality Action Plan

The Greater Manchester Air Quality Action Plan was published in 2006 to cover the period from 2006/07 to 2010/11. The overall aim of the plan is to reduce the effects of poor air quality on the health of people in Greater Manchester. The plan was developed jointly with the Local Transport Plan owing to the fact that the largest proportion of air pollution (in particular nitrogen dioxide) directly experienced by people in the urban areas of the County arises from road traffic.

The plan also aims to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide that contribute to climate change.

What is in the action plan?

Actions in the plan fall in the following categories:

  1. Physical improvements to the transport network – such as using improved traffic control systems at junctions and providing more road space and priority to passenger transport and cycling.

  2. Regulation and Enforcement – this involves greater co-ordination between various agencies to reduce pollution for example from poorly tuned engines or through ‘idling’ (leaving the engine running whilst waiting at the road side) &preventing bonfires –both garden and commercial fires.

  3. Smarter Choices – this is about making it easier for residents, businesses and visitors in Greater Manchester to contribute to reducing pollution and carbon emissions through their own actions (such as through personal travel arrangements etc).

  4. Planning Policy and Development Control – Local Authorities are able to promote the wider uptake of improved practices and technology through planning policies and conditions relating to new developments. Other policies are in place to ensure that new developments are in locations that are accessible by public transport, walking and cycling, or where this is not the case that appropriate improvements are made to public transport services and walking and cycling routes.

  5. Cleaner Technology, Fuels and Practices – we wish to find as many ways as possible to promote the uptake of cleaner and more efficient technologies in particular where they meet the latest Euro Standards. Through a partnership with freight operators we are also promoting best practice in distribution and driving methods as well as in increasing the use of alternatives to road transport where practicable. The Local Authorities themselves aim to set an example by improving the standards of their own vehicle fleets.

  6. Partnerships – this is a cross-cutting issue and there are many organisations in addition to Local Authorities that have an influence on local air pollution issues such as the Highways Agency, Vehicle Operating Standards Agency, Manchester Airport and freight or bus operating companies.

Download the Action Plan (PDF format)



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