A new report has revealed the extent of air pollution in Greater Manchester.
Research from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) shows that there are many more areas in the region that have higher levels of air pollution than was previously thought.
In the study, which will be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) before its Clean Air Plan is put together, more than 150 stretches of roads in the region will be in breach of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2020 and beyond if urgent action is not taken.
The precise number of roads is 152, meaning air pollution levels is far higher and much more widespread than previous estimates of just 12 problem areas.
The fact that the incidences are more than 10 times higher highlights the extent of the problem which could be termed as a crisis.
What it does is once again hammer home the need to lower emissions; vehicles are being manufactured with this in mind, and the government’s Clean Air Strategy is tackling the problem of poor air quality.
Air pollution is fourth in the list of hazards to health, behind cancer, obesity and heart disease, and it is the largest environmental public health issue facing the UK.
Road transport causes four fifths of NO2 emissions at the roadside, and the pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems, a reduction in life expectancy and, according to the figures, contribute to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths each year in Greater Manchester.
All of the 10 councils in the region are developing a single Clean Air Plan in order to reduce NO2, and Councillor Alex Ganotis, GMCA Green city Region Lead, said: “Nitrogen dioxide is an invisible killer, and drivers and their passengers often don’t realise that the air inside their car can be dirtier than outside.
“We’re calling on government to give Greater Manchester the tools we need to tackle the problem altogether – this means a local vehicle scrappage scheme and funding for cleaner engines for buses and taxis.”