Climate action group launches walking route to combat air pollution

plantingCampaign group Ardwick Climate Action, with the support of University of Manchester researchers, has launched a green route where local people can avoid the excessive pollution caused by motor vehicles.

The scheme close to Kale Street in Arwick will help combat the area’s disproportionate exposure to air pollution, improve the health and wellbeing of local people and improve public safety away from major roads.

The nine signs which have been put up along the various entry points to the attractive 15 minute walk contain digitally interactive QR codes, which when scanned with a smartphone will direct the public to various webpages. The pages contain information about local ecology and how plant species support Manchester’s biodiversity. They also detail the history of the site and the local community groups that manage it.

Daniell Musaheb, Ardwick Climate Action said: “Green Routes represent community action directly tackling our community’s issues, with a need to address air pollution and public safety at its core. We are honoured at the support the project has received from our partners which has undeniably contributed to its success.”

“We hope to see further tangible outcomes for our community and that this is the first step in realising a fairer balance in Manchester. Ardwick is disproportionately affected by air pollution, and the public safety of local people is compromised due to the lack of infrastructure to support green transportation.”

To  celebrate the launch, the group are organising lavender planting. Representatives from a range of groups talked about air pollution, road safety and green routes in Manchester. And a guided walk from the A6 showed participants why the green route is so badly needed.

Since 2022, ACA has conducted research in partnership with the University which showed that local communities are an important way understand where local sources of pollution are and barriers to less polluting forms of travel.

One of the researchers, Prof. Sheena Cruickshank said: “Collaborative working between local communities and our researchers was vital to understand the barriers for active travel and the issues that most impacted residents. By engaging with communities we can promote awareness of the risks of pollution to health and do more meaningful research that best meets the needs of those most impacted by pollution.

She added: “This research highlighted real issues encountered by residents of high levels of pollution and dangerous roads with fast moving traffic. There is a lack of crossings across busy roads which makes it very hard for residents to get around safely.”

“We are so excited about the green route and we really hope it makes a difference to residents for their health and wellbeing as they can avoid some of the traffic and pollution and enjoy the incredible biodiversity created by the planting done by ACA.”

  • Read more about the research here