I entirely understand your concerns about the impact of air pollution on young children. Air quality has improved significantly since 2010 but sixty years on from the Clean Air Act, air pollution is still making people ill, shortening lives and damaging our economy and environment.
I welcome the Government's new draft Clean Air Strategy which aims to cut air pollution and save lives, backed up by new primary legislation. It details how the UK will go further and faster than the EU in reducing exposure to particulate matter pollution, supplementing the £3.5 billion plan to reduce air pollution from road transport and diesel vehicles as set out last year.
The Strategy has been consulted upon and forms a key part of the 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment. It sets out a goal to halve the number of people living in locations with concentrations of particulate matter above WHO guidelines, legislate to give councils more powers to improve air quality and ensure only the cleanest domestic fuels and stoves can be sold.
Other measures include requiring and supporting farmers to invest in reducing emissions of ammonia, working with international partners on new standards for tyres and brakes to reduce emissions of harmful microplastics, investing in research and innovation and a personal air quality messaging system to keep the public informed.
This action is all in addition to our comprehensive plan to reduce emissions from road transport. The existing £3.5 billion investment includes £1 billion to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles, nearly £0.5 billion to help local authorities implement local air quality plans and about £90 million through the Green Bus fund.
This is an important issue for our area and over the last two years Greater Manchester has received £250 million from central government to reduce emissions. I was therefore disappointed that the Mayor of Greater Manchester missed the December deadline to submit Greater Manchester's Clean Air Strategy to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
It is vital that our region has such a strategy in place, given that Stockport is one of the seven out of ten Greater Manchester authorities named within the government's NO2 plan as being required to act to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions. This is in addition to the fact that Greater Manchester has the highest rates of emergency admissions to hospital for asthma in the whole country, with Central Manchester and North Manchester NHS trusts having emergency admissions at double the national average.
I therefore look forward to the Mayor submitting his strategy as soon as possible and I will continue to keep a close eye on the issue at both a national and local level.