GREEN campaigners in Ramsbottom have raised concerns after discovering air pollution levels have not been monitored for the past five years.

Pollution monitoring equipment in Ramsbottom Lane was stolen five years ago and has not produced ‘any meaningful data for the site’ since then, according to Bury Green Party.

It has called the situation ‘totally unacceptable’ as Bury is in the top five worst for mortality attributable to air pollution in the region.

Bury Council said it reviews and assesses air quality regularly in line with government requirements, and the equipment has been replaced and data successfully collected last month.

John Southworth, joint co-ordinator for Bury Green Party, said: “We discovered there had been no air pollution monitoring in Ramsbottom since 2009 as we were preparing our objection to the planning application for the anaerobic digestion plant at Fletcher Bank Quarry in Shuttleworth. Given the type of industries we have here and the large number of lorries driving through the centre of town on a daily basis, this is totally unacceptable."

A Bury Council spokesman said: “The monitoring equipment used in Ramsbottom is a diffusion tube which monitors nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant associated with burning fossil fuels and transport.

“These diffusion tubes are sited on lamp-posts at eight locations in the borough and are collected each month. Unfortunately the diffusion tube in Ramsbottom has been removed by vandals on many occasions and so we weren’t able to produce any meaningful data for this site for some time.

“The tube has been replaced and was successfully collected last month and we will continue to monitor the situation throughout the year."