To consider Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Plan - Tackling Nitrogen Dioxide Exceedances at the Roadside - Outline Business Case.
Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Neighbourhoods that summarised the key features of Greater Manchester’s feasibility study and its Outline Business Case (OBC) to reduce nitrogen dioxide exceedances in the Rochdale Borough and across Greater Manchester in the shortest possible time. The OBC had been developed by Rochdale BC collectively with all Greater Manchester local authorities and the GMCA, and co-ordinated by TfGM in line with Government direction and guidance.
Cabinet were informed that the Health Schools and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the report at a meeting on 13th March and had asked a number of questions and were supportive of the proposals.
Following the issue of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) in March 2018, a process of refining the shortlisted measures and developing a range of options that combine the measures in different ways has been undertaken. This was overseen by the GM Steering Group, to understand the type and scale of intervention needed to reduce NO2 to within legal Limit Values in the “shortest possible time” across Greater Manchester.
A best performing option was recommended within the Outline Business Case (OBC) for further consideration and discussion with stakeholders and the public to aid the development of the Full Business Case.
The core goal of the GM Clean Air Plan was to address the legal requirement to remove ALL exceedances of concentrations of NO2 that have been forecasted to exceed the legal Limit Value (40 ?g/m3) identified through the target determination process in the “shortest possible time” in line with Government guidance and legal rulings.
Options had been assessed against the UK Government’s Primary Critical Success Factors:
· Reduction in NO2 emissions: likelihood that the measure/option will contribute significantly to a reduction in NO? concentrations to achieve compliance with the EU Limit Values
· Feasibility: likelihood of measure being implemented in time to deliver desired NO? reduction and achieve compliance.
Where modelled options deliver compliance in the same year they have been further assessed against Government’s Secondary Critical Success Factors, as set out in the SOC:
· Strategic fit with local strategies and plans: ensuring the alignment of the option with longer term economic, social and environmental goals and that the risk of unintended consequences is minimised.
· Value for money: a high-level indication of the costs and benefits of each option.
· Distributional impact: in order to understand the potential impacts, both positive and negative on different groups within society, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable. It is of vital importance that the plan does not result in disproportionately negative economic or social impacts for the region or those living, working or doing business within it.
· Deliverability of the options, in terms of the affordability of the cost of implementation, the supply-side capacity and capability to deliver the measures outlined in the options, and the achievability of delivering the option.
The SOC identified that the fundamental causes of the exceedances were variable in terms of the source of emissions and that these sites ... view the full minutes text for item 123
Director of Neighbourhoods to report
The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which summarised the key features of Greater Manchester’s feasibility study and its Outline Business Case to reduce nitrogen dioxide exceedances in both the Rochdale Borough and across Greater Manchester in the shortest possible time. The Outline Business Case had been developed by Rochdale Borough Council collectively with all of the Greater Manchester local authorities and also with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester in line with Government direction and guidance.
The Committee was advised that taking action on air quality was not optional. The severe and long lasting health implications of poor air quality as well as the legal obligations placed on Greater Manchester local authorities meant that authorities needed to act decisively and quickly to reduce harmful air pollutants, and nitrogen oxides in particular. Greater Manchester authorities in deciding to work together to respond to this vital issue were demonstrating collective leadership, which would be essential in helping to clean the air for the combined population of nearly three million residents. Analysis revealed that locations of damaging roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations could be found in every district.
It was noted that poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health. Therefore taking action to improve air quality is crucial to improve population health. It was further noted that air quality, generally, is improving, particular pollutants remain a serious concern in many urban areas. These are oxides of nitrogen and its harmful form nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter.
Across Greater Manchester road transport is responsible for approximately 80% of nitrogen dioxide concentrations at roadside, of which diesel vehicles are the largest source. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide may contribute to the development of cardiovascular or respiratory disease, and may reduce life expectancy. The youngest, the oldest, those living in areas of deprivation, and those with existing respiratory or cardiovascular disease are most likely to develop symptoms due to exposure to air pollution.
In considering the report Members sought clarification on the following:
a. Consultations with those most likely to be affected by the proposals such as the Borough’s licensed private hire and hackney carriage trades. The Director of Neighbourhoods reported that consultative meetings with the taxi/private hire trades regarding the proposals and the main issue raised related to concerns that vehicle owners would be unable to meet the required deadlines for vehicle emissions. The ‘trade’ had also requested that the deadlines be put back, by 12 months. However this was not possible as these deadlines had been established by the government.
b. The status of private hire and hackney carriage vehicles that are operate in the Rochdale Borough but which re licensed by other local authorities.
c. The effectiveness of the computer software that would be used, in terms of its ability to differentiate between different types of vehicles
d. Measures being taken by authorities to encourage the use of electric vehicle and the possibility ... view the full minutes text for item 114