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Mums for Lungs claim delay in Manchester CAZ may have cost 200 lives

Since the implementation of the Manchester Clean Zone was paused in February 2022, analysis by Mums for Lungs based on on data published by CBI Economics, shows that over 200 people may have died in Greater Manchester from illnesses related to poor air quality.

In a new campaign, children in Manchester are calling on diesel drivers to think of their health when getting in their cars, by leaving letters on public boards and through a digital campaign across the city. 

In areas where clean air zones have been established, the number of diesel cars on the street has been declining, in Manchester the number has increased by nearly 10%.

The letter reads:

Dear Driver,

When I walk to school I see loads of cars driving up and down the roads. I smell and breathe in all the air pollution from stinky exhausts.. I am worried about all the children with asthma, like my cousins and my Daddy. Please drive less, turn off your engines when you’re parked and join the campaign to Ditch Diesel.

Love the Children of Manchester

Research from Centre for Cities has revealed that one in 23 (4.3%) deaths in Greater Manchester is linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. The research also found that in the North West, deaths related to air pollution are 21 times higher than deaths in traffic accidents.

Outside London, cities and large towns in the North West have the largest numbers of estimated PM2.5 related deaths in the UK.

Greater Manchester is the only city region in England legally mandated to improve its air quality that has not introduced a scheme to charge the most polluting vehicles.

Last year the Environment Minister George Eustice MP claimed that there is ‘little robust evidence’ to show that a non-charging scheme could meet legal obligations to achieve compliance with NO2 limits in the shortest possible time and by 2026 at the latest.

Dr Winter, GP Partner at Bodey Medical Centre in Fallowfield said:
‘Manchester has poor respiratory health compared to many areas of the country. And whilst a lot of work is being done across the city in healthcare to try to improve our lung health, we know that increased exposure to air pollution negatively affects the developing lungs and brains of babies and children. Children, older people and those with existing lung diseases are some of the worst affected by air pollution.’

Liz Godfrey, from Mums for Lungs Manchester said: ‘Living near a busy road can stunt children’s lung growth by up to 14 per cent, this sets them up for a lifetime of health problems. Greater Manchester currently has some of the highest paediatric admission rates for asthma in the country and the increase we are seeing in diesel vehicles here is directly influencing this dreadful statistic.’

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