Cleaner Transport, Cleaner Air, Healthier People
Manchester Friends of the Earth is encouraging people who live or work in Greater Manchester to demand reductions in air pollution across the region by taking part in the Air Quality Action Plan consultation. 
Air pollution in the UK harms our health and causes tens of thousands of premature deaths every year. It is estimated that air pollution causes over 1200 people to die prematurely in Greater Manchester each year. The air we inhale on the way to work, school and in our neighbourhoods has levels of pollution above EU limits.
Manchester Friends of the Earth believes that the Greater Manchester Low-emissions Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan needs to provide clear leadership on reducing single-occupancy car journeys, cleaning up bus engines, and providing an environment that enables and encourages people of all ages to walk and cycle.
To help people respond to the consultation, the campaigners have highlighted key issues in a a sample letter and are also encouraging people to add their own ideas for cleaning up Greater Manchester’s polluted air. People have until Friday the 29th April to respond. 
Colette Humphrey , Clean Air campaigner with the group, said,
“We know that air pollution needs to be tackled, yet people often feel there is little they can do to influence this important issue. The air quality action gives people a simple and effective way to let the Transport Authority know they are concerned and that Greater Manchester needs urgent action”.
Enabling more people to choose sustainable travel options has to be a central focus for any strategy to improve air quality in Greater Manchester. Delivering a safe and attractive cycle network across the region is essential to enable more people to choose to cycle.
Manchester Friends of the Earth are inviting people to join them at their monthly Bike Friday cycle. Bike Friday provides a range of cycle rides into the City Centre from various starting places around Greater Manchester and also works with companies and local authorities in Greater Manchester to promote cycling, improve cycle facilities and to encourage more people to continue cycling to school, work and for leisure all year round. 
Photo opportunity: 8.45am, Friday 29th April, Stevenson Square, Manchester City Centre. Contact: Pete Abel, 07951 642858
CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS
Pete Abel, Love Your Bike campaign. Mobile: 07951 642858
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth, sustainable transport campaign co-ordinator. Mobile: 07948 405071
Notes to Editors:
 Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan consultation.
 Manchester Friends of the Earth air quality action.
 The Bike Friday cycle rides start at 8am from Chorlton Library, Levenshulme Station, Prestwich Pizza Express, Stretford Mall and Withington Library and finish at approx 8.30am at Stevenson Square, M1 in the Northern Quarter. The Worsley, Middleton – Victoria Avenue East, Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square routes start earlier. See the website for details. The BikeFriday cycle rides take place on the morning of the last Friday of every month (except December). The rides go a moderate pace, have experienced ride leaders, are entirely law-abiding and can help people develop more confidence in their cycling abilities.
 Bike Friday is coordinated by Love Your Bike (Manchester Friends of the Earth) and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC)
Love Your Bike is an award winning Manchester based campaign aiming to promote cycling and help make it an even more attractive, accessible and fun way to get around. Co-ordinated by Manchester Friends of the Earth, the campaign works in partnership with other like-minded organisations. See www.loveyourbike.org
 Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk
 Manchester Friends of the Earth has endorsed Manchester: A Certain Future, an action plan for the city of Manchester to cut its carbon emissions by at least 41% by 2020. For more information, visit www.manchesterclimate.