Global engineering and environmental consultancy, Arup, has been appointed as lead advisor on the next stage of developing Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Plan, which includes proposals to introduce a clean air zone (CAZ) in one of the UK’s largest urban areas.
Greater Manchester has recently set out its proposals to reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution in the quickest and most effective way across the whole of the city-region. The proposals, which cover all 10 of Greater Manchester local authority areas, are designed to bring levels of NO2 emissions from road traffic to within legal limits by 2024. As lead advisor, Arup and partner AECOM will work with the 10 councils and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to develop a Full Business Case for a program of measures for submission to central government by the end of 2019. The proposed interventions include the set-up of clean transport funds, establishing a CAZ, and investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
The ‘Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide exceedances at the roadside’ is part of a national program in which the UK Government has instructed more than 60 local authorities across the country to tackle NO2 air pollution. Greater Manchester’s Full Business Case will build on an Outline Business Case that was submitted to central government in March, refining details of proposed measures through further work to develop a more detailed understanding of the possible impact on Greater Manchester residents and businesses. An informal public conversation on the proposals started earlier this month and will be followed by a formal consultation later in 2019, to give an opportunity for people to help shape the city’s final proposals.
“The Full Business Case will include wide-ranging engagement and formal consultation with all impacted groups, with feedback taken into consideration before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for further consideration and approval,” explained Simon Warburton, transport strategy director at TfGM. “We will also be pressing the government to ensure that the right national policy framework is put in place, particularly with regard to ensuring that the right funding and supply chain conditions are in place for vehicle renewal, and to establish a clear approach to addressing pollution on the motorway network. We look forward to working with the lead advisor to progress the plan over the coming year.”
Dave Newton, director and consulting leader for Arup’s North West and Yorkshire office, commented, “Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. With reports published on an almost daily basis giving worrying insights into the effects of air pollution on our health and environment, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that we must act to protect the future health of our towns and cities. Drawing on a breadth of technical expertise, we’re committed to working with Greater Manchester to improve its air quality, and in doing so, understand how we can achieve the city-region’s wider strategic goals to promote sustainability, inclusion and growth.”