The Truth About Manchester Air Pollution: Buses Are to Blame

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Congestion charging (CC) proponents often justify the regressive tax by citing the need to reduce vehicular pollution in city centers. In their campaign to stymie a local CC scheme, Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART) points out that the Manchester City Council's plan singularly fails to tackle the real cause of the city's air pollution: buses. "Buses and indeed any vehicle with a large diesel power unit that repeatedly puts the engine under load – like pulling away from bus stops – emit the two most carcinogenic chemicals known to science, labelled 3-NBA and 1,8-DNP," MART's press release opined. "Buses are also heavy emitters of nitrogen dioxide and general particulates, both of which are respiratory irritants." It does seem odd that Manchester hasn't retired its smoke-belching buses. The city has one of Europe's busiest bus routes (Oxford Road/Wilmslow Road). It was also the first municipalities to introduce the diesel – electric Econo Optare Solo hybrid bus.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Dean Dean on Jul 26, 2007

    Locomotive-style diesel-electric hybrids make so much sense for buses. Keep the diesel running at a constant, efficient rpm and eliminate the constant acceleration cycles from stops. The fuel savings are obvious and demonstrable (see the link in the news item) and it will be a damn site less annoying for any unfortunate souls that live near a stop and have to listen to it.

  • Hal Hal on Jul 27, 2007

    I'm not a fan of Congestion Charging but that's what they are introducing - not Pollution Charging. A Double Decker holds about 70 commuters so thats a few dozen cars off the road anyway. What's their point again?