Thousands ‘go car-free’ to mark Clean Air Day 2021

Thousands of Greater Manchester residents are today leaving their cars at home to mark national Clean Air Day, opting to ‘go car-free’ and walk, scoot, cycle or wheel to work, school or the shops.

More than 50 GM schools are today trialling temporary ‘school streets’ where roads are closed to cars and cycling, walking, scooting and wheeling are prioritised. Greater Manchester has committed to delivering 50 walking and cycling-friendly permanent School Streets by March 2022. Hundreds more GM schools are actively promoting Clean Air Day and encouraging parents and carers to make the switch away from the car.

Last month, Clean Air Greater Manchester launched an online campaign calling on people to ‘go car-free’ and make everyday journeys and the school run by bike or on foot. People have been encouraged to spread the word and share their active travel journeys on social media by using #GMCleanAirDay and tagging @CleanAirGM.

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.”

In Greater Manchester, 200 million trips of under one kilometre are made by car in the region every year – adding to congestion and poor air quality. This is the equivalent of a 15-minute walk or four minutes cycling.

As part of the wider effort to create a cleaner, greener, healthier city-region, Greater Manchester will shortly publish its proposed final Clean Air Plan. The plan, which has been developed by the ten GM councils and coordinated by TfGM, aims to bring nitrogen dioxide levels within legal limits on local roads in the shortest possible time, and by 2024 at the latest.

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