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AIR QUALITY IN GM

GreatAir Manchester
current air quality in Greater Manchester

GreatAir Construction
air quality on construction and demolition sites

What are we doing?

The Cleaner Vehicles Campaign is a partnership air quality initiative between the ten Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) and Warrington local authorities.

The Campaign is helping to reduce pollution and improve air quality by:

  • Carrying out roadside testing to check exhaust emissions don't exceed set limits.
  • Preventing smoky vehicles causing air pollution.
  • Stopping vehicles idling unnecessarily on our roads.
  • Providing drivers with smarter driving tips to reduce fuel consumption.

Exhaust Emission Testing
Local authorities in England and Wales that have declared an air quality management area (AQMA) under the Environment Act 1995 may carry out emissions tests on vehicles that are being driven in their area. The aim of the Cleaner Vehicles Campaign is to reduce the number of grossly polluting vehicles in order to improve air quality throughout the region.

Informal events
Informal vehicle exhaust emission testing events are held across Greater Manchester and Warrington in order to educate drivers on vehicle maintenance and promote smarter driving techniques in conjunction with the Energy Saving Trust.

Formal testing
The Greater Manchester and Warrington authorities have declared AQMAs and formal testing of vehicles is held in these areas. The tests are conducted at the roadside in partnership with the Police and other enforcement agencies such as Trading Standards, Licensing and VOSA.

Drivers (not necessarily the owner) of vehicles that fail the emission test are served with a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice. If the vehicle’s driver takes prompt action to tune their vehicle, the Penalty Notice is reduced to £30. This supports the aim of the campaign which is to reduce the number of badly tuned vehicles on the roads in Greater Manchester, and encourages car owners to take their own action in future to tune their vehicles. In certain circumstances the fixed penalty notice can be reduced or waived.

Smoky Vehicles
We are taking action on reports by the public of excessively smoky vehicles, or ‘dirty diesels’. What is a ‘dirty diesel'?

  • Well-maintained vehicles should produce very little smoke, except when they are starting up, accelerating hard, or climbing steep hills.
  • However, some vehicles emit dense plumes of smoke and may not meet legal emissions standards - these may be dirty diesels.
  • Dirty diesels cause air pollution, can be a health hazard and are bad for the environment.

Reports of excessively smoky vehicles are investigated in partnership with other agencies such as the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) and Local Authority Taxi Licensing.

Report a dirty diesel

Idling Vehicles
Drivers who leave their vehicles idling unnecessarily cause pollution and waste fuel. With many thousands of vehicles passing through the Greater Manchester and Warrington areas daily, we aim to ensure that the impact of road traffic on the quality of our air is minimised. The purpose of the idling vehicles campaign is to help improve local air quality in Greater Manchester and Warrington by reducing unnecessary exhaust emissions from vehicles. It is designed to encourage all motorists to have due regard for the local environment when parking.

Due to the declaration of AQMAs in Greater Manchester and Warrington, these authorities have the power to instruct motorists to switch off their engines while their vehicles are parked and to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to those who refuse to co-operate.

However, it is not the intention to target motorists who leave their engines parked for more than a few seconds; rather, action will be targeted towards more serious offenders, for example, vehicles which park in busy town centres with their engines running unnecessarily idling for long periods of time.

It is accepted that there might be mitigating circumstances for leaving an engine running while the vehicle is stationary, for example:

  • During cold periods at a taxi rank
  • If the driver is elderly, to keep warm
  • If the vehicle is a recovery vehicle carrying out a recovery and needing to run lights off the engine
  • To help defrost a windscreen in very cold weather

Report an idling vehicle

Smarter Driving
Correctly maintaining a vehicle and applying efficient driving techniques can significantly improve and reduce the amount of fuel it uses. In partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, we provide guidance to drivers on smarter driving techniques – visit the What can you do and Tell Me More pages for more information.

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