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current air quality in Greater Manchester

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air quality on construction and demolition sites

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Greener ways to travel
Vehicle emissions and climate change
Alternative vehicles and fuels

Greener ways to travel
The following alternatives to car travel can save you money and time as well as helping to protect your local environment:

  • Public transport - visit Traveline for information on planning a journey on public transport from door to door anywhere in the North West. The GMPTE website also has a number of useful journey planning tools using Greater Manchester public transport.
  • Cycling - can provide a quick and easy alternative to taking the car on short journeys. It reduces your environmental impact, helps to keep you fit and healthy and is free!
    - visit CycleGM for information on cycling in Greater Manchester.
    - visit the website of the award winning Love Your Bike campaign, raising public awareness of cycling to reduce emissions, noise and pollution levels as well as peak time traffic congestion in Manchester City centre.
  • Walking - do you love to walk everywhere or just thinking about it at the moment? Either way you will find something useful at the urban walking route planner. The site provides maps as well as journey times, calories burnt, a step count and carbon savings information.
  • Car Sharing - sponsored by the Greater Manchester authorities, the Liftshare car share scheme website is completely free of charge and designed to help you find a car share companion and save money on fuel and parking as well as reducing your environmental impact and congestion.
  • City car hire - City Car Club has a large fleet of cars parked in designated bays in Manchester City centre that can be booked online or by phone any time of the day or night, for as little as half an hour or as long as needed.
  • In Town Without Your Car Day - local authorities all over Greater Manchester participate in the ‘In town without my car day’, which is held every year on 22 September as part of European Mobility Week - an awareness raising campaign aiming at encouraging the use of public transport, and promoting cycling and walking.
  • ESTTravel Energy Check : the Energy Saving Trust can provide you with a personalised travel energy report that will help you save fuel and money. So why not give them a call free on 0800 512 012 to start saving even more? More information from the Energy Saving Trust





Vehicle emissions and climate change
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a significant greenhouse gas contributing to climate change and global warming. CO2 emissions from vehicles are estimated to account for approximately 22% of total UK emissions of the gas. The most effective way to reduce CO2 is to reduce the amount of fuel consumed.

Did you know that the road tax rate for cars is based on CO2 emissions and fuel type?

The system works in bands ranging from the lowest to the highest CO2 emissions. The tax on cars that use less polluting alternative fuels such as LPG is also lower than for petrol or diesel vehicles.

Savings in duty can be hundreds of £s per year so it’s well worth considering this when buying a new vehicle. You can check the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of vehicles in the Vehicle Certification Agency’s (VCA) guide at: and the Government’s actonco2 webpages.

Alternative vehicles and fuels

Diesel vehicles have significantly lower CO2 emissions than petrol vehicles and hence have a lower impact on climate change. They do however, emit greater levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulates than petrol vehicles so increase localised air pollution at ground level, especially in urban areas with heavy traffic congestion.

Petrol engines can also offer the added bonus of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), which offers excellent fuel efficiency and hence lower pollutants levels and impact on the environment.

Liquid Petroleum Gas fuelled vehicles usually have higher CO2 emission levels than diesel engines but less than petrol. This is primarily due to the low carbon and high energy content of the fuel.

Compressed Natural Gas vehicles typically have similar CO2 emissions to diesel engines, as well as very low particulate emissions. However, as emission limits for petrol and diesel engines tighten, the gap in emissions performance between alternative fuels and conventional fuels is narrowing.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have virtually no emissions or environmental constraints. Limits to speed and distance have restricted their widespread use but improvements are constantly being made in EV technology. Hybrid vehicles combine a combustion engine with an electric motor - this reduces fuel consumption, resulting in lower exhaust emissions and less pollution.

Biodiesel is a fuel made primarily from vegetable oil and produces between 30% and 80% less CO2 than mineral diesel. Manchester was home to the first dedicated biodiesel garage in the UK.

Public Protection PartnershipEnergy Saving TrustCall Manchester Environment on 0161 234 5004Cleaner Vehicles Campaign logo
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