THE government has told council bosses they must tackle an Oldham road which is in danger of breaching legal air quality limits.

A section of the A62 bypass which runs from King Street roundabout to the traffic lights at Mumps will exceed allowed pollution levels by 2021, according to data modelling.

Oldham Council are now putting a plan in place to deal with the issue.

Nitrogen dioxide rates found on that stretch of the A62 are expected to rise, without direct action, and have a detrimental impact on public health.

Consequently last year the government published a plan to bring concentrations within the statutory limits in the shortest possible time.

Earlier this year, as one of a series of rulings on local authorities, the High Court decreed that a further 45 councils must produce a plan to achieve compliance as soon as possible.

Environmental chiefs in Oldham have agreed to come up with a plan which focuses on the stretch of road identified by the government.

But they say that more detailed work is ongoing, through Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), to support the regional approach which has a ‘greater likelihood’ of improving air quality across the region.

Presenting the report to the health scrutiny committee, officer Rosie Barker said: “In April Oldham were informed they were in a third wave of local authorities with parts of road due to exceed legal compliance levels. It was not the road that people were expecting.

“I think it’s fair to say that our sphere of influence is around safer measures, alternative means of transport.”

Plans to tackle declining air quality and pollution include the promotion of electric vehicles, both for the public and local authority, and promoting cycling alternatives.

And it comes as part of a wider piece of worker across the whole of Greater Manchester which wants to improve the region’s overall air quality.

Councillor Cath Ball told members that she had been briefed on research into certain species of tree that could improve the air quality by around 50 per cent.

“But it’s got to be the right sort of trees, not big but small ones that trap the particles,” she said.

Chadderton councillor Elaine Taylor added: “Should we do anything to make people aware that there is an issue in these particular areas so that people are not sat with their windows down breathing in the fumes? In terms of people taking control of their health and wellbeing.”

Ms Barker responded that they have a legal duty to declare an air regulated zone for that specific part of the A62.

They are now to submit a feasiblity study in July into ways to lower the levels of roadside pollution.