Thousands of Greater Manchester residents are leaving their cars at home today to mark National Clean Air Day.
Walking, scooting and cycling is widely encouraged as people go ‘car free’ across the region.
Last month, Clean Air Greater Manchester launched its online campaign, calling on people to make more everyday journeys by bike or on foot.
The project forms part of Greater Manchester’s ambition to deliver the UK’s largest cycling and walking network and achieve carbon neutrality by 2038.
Top tips if you’re planning to cycle and walk on #GMCleanAirDay tomorrow 17 June.
👟Wear comfy shoes
☂️Grab your waterproofs
🤔 Plan your route
✅ Go for it! 🚴 🚶
— Transport for Greater Manchester 🚲🚶🏾♀️ (@OfficialTfGM) June 16, 2021
Local leaders say they are committed to tackling air pollution, which is the biggest environmental public health issue facing the city-region.
The pollution contributes to around 1,200 deaths in Greater Manchester alone each year.
Transport for Greater Manchester says that if all journeys locally under one kilometre were walked or cycled instead of driven, it could help prevent at least 42,750 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – a saving that’s equivalent to planting 21 million new trees in just one year.
As a part of wider efforts, Greater Manchester is shortly expected to publish its proposed Green Air Plan, which has been developed by ten local councils and TfGM.
The plan aims to bring nitrogen dioxide levels back down within legal limits on local roads in the shortest possible time, and by 2024 at the latest.
🚲 🚶 The results are in! More than half of people polled plan to bike or walk it locally for #CleanAirDay on Thursday 17 June.
— Clean Air Greater Manchester (@CleanAirGM) June 16, 2021
Greater Manchester lead for Clean Air, Councillor Andrew Western, said: “I want to thank the thousands of people across Greater Manchester who are committing to ‘go car-free’ today to mark Clean Air Day.
“I am sure that residents, including parents, carers and children, will really enjoy walking, scooting, wheeling or cycling to get around locally and for the school run, and it will be the start of a new, greener, healthier daily routine.”
A recent survey also found that more people in Greater Manchester have been walking and cycling post-pandemic.