Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has expressed concern after a new report highlighted the air pollution crisis in Greater Manchester.
Think tank IPPR found that air pollution in the city reduces life expectancy by an average of six months, with hospital admissions for asthma the highest in the country. The report estimates that £1bn is being lost from the regional economy every year as a direct result of pollutant-related health problems.
The report urges local leaders to react to the crisis “in the immediate future” to save lives across the city. The authors call on Mayor Andy Burnham to set up a Greater Manchester Air Pollution Taskforce and urges the Government to bring in a new Clean Air Act which gives local authorities more powers and funding to bring air pollution down to safe levels.
Sarah Longlands, director of IPPR North said:
“For too long, the debate on air pollution has been focused on London. But now for the first time, we understand the full extent of the problem in Greater Manchester. We simply cannot allow this to continue.”
“This report from IPPR is extremely worrying. The human cost of air pollution across Greater Manchester is now indisputable.
This report shows that Greater Manchester faces the same air pollution challenge as London, but with neither the powers nor the funding to tackle it. We need a new Clean Air Act which includes new powers and support for local authorities to bring air pollution under control.
Air pollution is a public health crisis which is cutting short the lives of people in Greater Manchester. We have the evidence, now it’s time to act on it.”