THE new A556 bypass will have a speed limit of 60mph which campaigners said shows the government was concerned about air pollution caused by the new road.

Sian Berry, Roads and Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said the decision would cause 'huge damage' to the area.

"This scheme will cause huge damage to the Green Belt, and increase air pollution across a wide area affecting many parts of Manchester as well as homes in the immediate area," she said.

"However, the decision to limit the speed on the new dual carriageway to 60mph at least shows that Government cannot ignore the effect of air pollution on people's health.

"The decision to approve the road raises a bigger issue. It uses the draft National Policy Statement on National Networks to justify the road building project.

"We are very concerned that this draft Statement is based on predictions of massive future increases in congestion and can therefore be used to justify almost any road scheme that anyone can come up with, however bad the effect on communities, air pollution or indeed Green Belts and National Parks.

"We believe the Government must rewrite this policy before it is finalised to give a more balanced approach to road and transport planning."