What is air pollution?

All urban areas have a problem with air pollution.

Many different things cause pollution, from road traffic to industry and domestic wood burners.

In Greater Manchester, some of the pollutants that are most harmful to our health are caused by road transport.

Many of the vehicles on our local roads pump out fumes full of harmful gases and tiny dust particles.


You can’t see nitrogen oxides but breathing them in can be extremely harmful.

Diesel vehicles are the main source of road-based nitrogen oxide emissions in Greater Manchester:

  • Cars (46%)
  • Vans and light goods vehicles (20%)
  • Buses and coaches (14%)
  • Heavy goods vehicles (11%)

You can see which vehicles are responsible for both nitrogen oxide emissions and PM10 emissions in the chart below.

Nox Pie Chart2

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