Manchester City Council

Environmental problems Air quality

Action plan: what you can do

There are lots of ways that you can help to tackle poor air quality in Manchester.

  • cut down your driving - walk or cycle, use public transport, work from home or car share just once a week to make a real difference to air quality and your health. You are exposed to more pollution inside your vehicle than outside
  • change your driving behaviours - turn off your engine when you are not moving and make journeys at less busy times
  • get your car serviced regularly to make sure it's as efficient as possible
  • change your vehicle - older and diesel cars cause more air pollution. When buying a vehicle consider the impact it will have on the city’s air
  • further information is available at

Near schools:

Air quality is poor around many schools in Manchester. This can cause health problems like asthma, wheezing, coughs and infections like pneumonia.

Children take more breaths than adults so are more affected by poor air making them vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality.

Changes to the way you do the school runs can have a big impact:

  • if possible use public transport, walk or cycle to drop off and collect your child from school
  • if you need to use your car, park a few streets away from the school and walk the remainder of the way
  • turn the engine off while you're waiting.

Pollution alerts:

Clean Air Greater Manchester provide an air pollution alert service by text message or email and access to recorded information. To learn more and sign up, visit The messages are free and are based on a forecast of expected air quality for the same or following day, enabling people to plan ahead.

Report smoky or idling vehicles:

Well maintained modern vehicles should produce very little smoke, whereas excessively smoky vehicles cause air pollution. 

Idling vehicles are vehicles parked with their engine running for significant periods of time.

Report a smoky or idling vehicle using the Air quality - report a problem form.

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