#Trafford – Highways Agency admits motorway pollution 50% above regulations

Press Release –

Members of Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air Group attended a public consultation on the future of the M60 motorway between junctions 8 at Sale and 20 at Rochdale, held at a local Leisure Centre on Friday 8th November. The proposals concerned improving motorway travel by converting the hard shoulder to an extra traffic lane.

“The Agency admitted that nitrogen dioxide air pollution caused by traffic fumes was already 50 percent above the regulated maximum,” said Pete Kilvert, Chairman of the group, “and we understand that they will be scrapping plans to install the extra lane between junction 8 at Sale and 18 at the M66 junction near Prestwich. It seems that limiting the speed of vehicles along this already busy section is the answer to controlling exhaust emissions pollution”.

The Breathe Clean Air Group has been campaigning to improve air quality for over three years since the announcement to build the Barton Renewable Energy Plant. Trafford Council rejected the plant, but a public Inquiry in November last year ruled in favour of the incinerator plant. Now Trafford Council has appealed against that ruling. Emissions from the incinerator will pollute Trafford, Salford and Manchester.

“The major polluter in this area is the motorway,” said Pete Kilvert, “but any additional air pollution is taking us in the wrong direction. Proposed developments such as the waste incinerator and the Coal Bed Methane extraction plant (Fracking) on the south bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, will not only add extra nitrogen dioxide to the motorway pollution, but other nasties as well, such as heavy metals, Particulate Matter, dioxins and benzene, all of which can cause cancer.

The Breathe Clean Air Group is concerned about the five Trafford schools and several Salford schools that are within yards of the motorway and in the fall-out zone of the proposed waste incinerator and fracking plant. It is well known that children’s lungs and immune systems are not fully developed and are susceptible to air pollution. Children exercise more, and breathe in more than adults. Any air pollution that settles on the school playing areas will be kicked up and breathed in.

“That is why we must reduce air pollution,” added Mr Kilvert, “to protect the next generation as well as the current population”.


If you want to get involved in BCAG – here’s their website. And their email info@breathecleanairgroup.co.uk.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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One Response to #Trafford – Highways Agency admits motorway pollution 50% above regulations

  1. Dave Bishop says:

    A hidden side effect of nitrogen pollution from traffic exhausts is something called ‘eutrophication’ of soils – which leads to loss of local biodiversity. Basically, nitogen compounds are potent plant nutrients and if soils are enriched with them, ‘vegetable thugs’, such as nettles, docks and brambles, out-compete everything else. I’ve watched this happen to the Mersey Valley over the last 30 or 40 years. Site after site after site has succumbed to it and the effect has been exacerbated by poor – or usually non-existent – countryside management. When I first knew the Mersey Valley it was, from a botanical point of view, amazing – now it’s just a sea of docks and nettles. I think of the M60 as yet another ‘nail in the coffin of the world’.

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