A NEW air quality monitoring station could be installed in Bolton town centre as part of plans to tackle air pollution.

The equipment, which would be housed within a roadside enclosure, would be located at the junction of Derby Street and College Close.

It will monitor concentrations of nitrogen oxides and other particulate matter.

The plans have been submitted to the council’s planning department by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

This follows a review of the city-region’s network of monitoring stations which recommended that Bolton needs new equipment there are currently no continuous monitoring stations in the borough.

In the application for a lawful development certificate, TfGM said, like many other conurbations in the UK, Greater Manchester contains areas that suffer from poor air quality.

It said: “Poor air quality has a real and significant effect on people’s health and according to Public Health England is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.

“In particular, long-term exposure to high levels of air pollution is known to contribute to the development of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma or bronchitis, as well as cardiovascular problems, and reduces life expectancy.”

The new plans come after it was revealed that Bolton’s busiest roads are among the most polluted in Greater Manchester.

Three stretches of St Peter’s Way (A666) have been blacklisted as having higher levels of air pollution than previously thought, in a report published last October.

The roadway along with other town centre roads, including sections of Trinity Street, Deane Road, St George’s Road and Bradford Street, are included in 152 stretches of the region’s roads which will breach legal limits for harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) beyond 2020, unless action is taken.

Now, a proposal to introduce charges for high-polluting vehicles has been drawn up and a consultation is set to begin in May.

Under the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Clean Air Plan, van, bus and lorry drivers would have to pay the “pollution charge” in certain areas, but cars would exempt.

Last week, it was revealed that Bolton Council encouraged other politicians in the city-region to call on the government to fund the plans which would include a scrappage scheme to get more polluting cars off the road.

The outline business case also calls on the government to pull its weight by addressing pollution on the motorways which councils are not responsible for.

However, executive member for environmental services Nick Peel said he does not think the plans will be accepted by the government.