Manchester records highest levels of air pollution anywhere in western Europe as children warned to 'limit outdoor exertion'


Manchester recorded the highest levels of air pollution anywhere in western Europe today.

At 11:00am this morning (08/09/18), Manchester's central air quality monitoring station recorded the highest levels of air pollution anywhere in the whole of western Europe.

The Liberal Democrats have called on Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the region's councils to clamp down on pollution after the city was placed top of the list for dangerous air.

The levels of fine dirt (PM2.5), which have an immediate temporary impact on the brainpower (cognitive processes) returned the highest reading across western Europe.

This follows a recent trend of toxic levels of air pollution spreading across Manchester according to the city's monitoring stations.

Results are recorded hourly, received by the Greater Manchester Mayor's team, and relayed to Beijing where Chinese experts prepare hourly World Maps indicating air pollution levels.

Government and EU statistics suggest that 6% of deaths a year in Manchester are caused by factors attributed to air pollution.

Beijing air pollution experts warned: "Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion".

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Greg Stanton said: "Our city is getting dangerously close to the point of no return and severe action must be taken right now to ensure warnings against children playing outside don't become a regular occurrence.

"Before the 2018 elections, we laid out clear plans on how to tackle air pollution in Manchester including more air pollution monitors, greater Metrolink coverage, increased cycle routes, cycle provisions for all new housing and an Oyster Card-style payment system.

"Leaders in Greater Manchester must now work across parties to implement our plans to fight back against air pollution as the Liberal Democrats will not stand by as we sleepwalk into the biggest disaster of our generation."


The 'Manchester Together' manifesto released by the Liberal Democrats ahead of the 2018 elections laid out clear plans of how the party would tackle air pollution.

Highlights:
  • Increased number of air pollution monitors to accurately understand air quality in the city.
  • Review cycle storage units in all social housing blocks and make safe storage units a requirement in all apartment planning applications.
  • Invest and build cycle only roads to service commuters.
  • Make it safer for cyclists to get around our city and protect them from dangerous fumes.
  • Complete a full and extensive assessment of air quality in the city with a specific emphasis on primary and secondary schools.
  • Guarantee a green form of transport for the least well off in Manchester.
  • Offer zero-interest loans to those in receipt of council tax benefit for the purchase of bicycles.
  • Encourage pollution scrubbing technology including green roofs and urban parks by using planning conditions and Section 106 agreements.
  • Encourage carbon emission reduction with businesses by offering business rate discounts for adopting measures such as; green commuter programs, using sustainable energy sources and cycle-to-work loans.
  • Increase coverage of the Metrolink tram system to all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester and to key locations that attract high car usage such as The Trafford Centre.
  • Increase roll out of electric charging points.
  • Link the city’s bus services, Metrolink and National Rail lines with a single point of payment, equal to the Oyster Card in London.
  • Guarantee a young person's commuter’s price cap, so they will never pay more than half the hourly living wage rate to commute to work.

Full plans can be found in chapters 'Transport' and 'Our Future' in the Liberal Democrat 2018 'Manchester Together' manifesto here.


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