Skip to main content

Our journey to clean air starts with you


How we choose to travel affects us all

Vehicle exhausts can produce harmful gases and tiny particles of soot and other matter that pollute the air we all breathe. They also cause health problems and harm our environment.

Greater Manchester has been in breach of its legal limits for one of the most harmful pollutants – nitrogen dioxide – every year since 2011.

We’re looking hard at ways to improve our air quality. But, unless we all play a part, transport emissions will continue to harm us.

Air-Quality car shar

Car share for clean air

Buddy-up with someone at work and split the fuel costs, cut congestion and reduce parking problems and air pollution. Check out our Car Share GM scheme for businesses.

Air Quality walking


This is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around – and great for your health, too. Definitely worth considering on the school run. See our walking pages for inspiration.

Air Quality cycling


Start your day the clean air way and try cycling your commute. Check out our cycling pages to find routes, get tips and sign up for free training. You can also find out if you’re eligible for a free bike.

Air Quality anti-idling

Engine off when you stop!

Running the engine when your car is stationary – otherwise known as ‘idling’ or ‘ticking over’ – is one way you could be making our air pollution problem worse.

Simply switching your engine off when you’re at a standstill for a while can make a real difference.

Air Quality question mark

What more can I do to help reduce air pollution?

While Greater Manchester’s air quality is improving, there is much more we can all do to tackle harmful emissions.

If everyone pledges to make simple changes in their everyday life, we can make real progress. See what you could do:

  • Use buses, trams or trains more often. If you already use public transport, why not encourage your friends and family as well?

  • Retime your commute. If you need to drive to and from work, can you change the time you commute to reduce air pollution at peak hours?

  • Park and ride. Greater Manchester has more than 3,500 park and ride spaces for people who’d like to drive to their local Metrolink stop, train station or bus stop.

  • Don’t drive under pressure. Correctly inflated tyres can save fuel and reduce pollution, so make sure you check yours regularly.

  • Upgrade. When it’s time to upgrade your car, consider an electric or hybrid model, as you pay little or no vehicle excise duty (road tax) on these. They’re cheaper to run, maintenance costs are much lower, they’re quieter and they don’t emit air pollution or carbon dioxide.

Air Quality thought cloud

Did you know?

  • Air pollution from exhausts is linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer

  • Children who walk to school are healthier and perform better in class

  • 69% of all UK car journeys are short ones. Try walking or cycling instead.

  • Drivers and their passengers are exposed to fumes as well as people outside the vehicle.

  • Correctly inflated tyres can save fuel and reduce air pollution

  • A recent study has shown that by not ticking over we can reduce air pollution during peak travel hours by as much as 30%.

  • If you need to keep warm, your heater fan will still blow warm air for some time after you turn off your engine.

Our commitment

We’re working hard with businesses, the NHS and local councils to help make travel more sustainable. Find out more about TfGM’s commitment to cleaner air and the environment.