Air Quality Management

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The Government's revised Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was a direct response to the requirements of the Environment Act 1995.

It set health based standards and objectives covering seven pollutants:

  1. Benzene;
  2. 1,3-Butadiene;
  3. Carbon Monoxide;
  4. Lead;
  5. Nitrogen Dioxide;
  6. Particulate Matter (PM10);
  7. Sulphur Dioxide.

The Act requires all local authorities to periodically review and assess air quality in order to determine whether the Air Quality Objectives will be met.

Ipswich Borough Council has produced reports on the air quality in Ipswich, which are available to download below:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) outlines a phased approach to local reviews and assessments. When the reviews and assessments are completed, if it is unlikely that the objective level for any of the specified pollutants can be achieved by the target date, the council must declare the location as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an action plan to make improvements.

Air Quality FAQs

If you want to know more about air quality, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

Ipswich Air Quality Management Areas

In April 2006, three AQMAs were declared in Ipswich with a fourth being added in December 2010.

In September 2017, following a detailed assessment undertaken in 2015, the Council declared a new fifth AQMA and made amendments to three of the four pre-existing areas.

In November 2020, a detailed assessment was carried out which indicated that there was an area outside AQMA 3 where the annual mean nitrogen dioxide (NO2) objective level was being exceeded. In addition, the assessment showed that there was an area within AQMA 1 that, for several years, had not exceeded the annual mean objective level. Furthermore, once bias and distance correction had been applied, there were no measured exceedances of the air quality objective for NO2 concentrations over the last six years in AQMA 4. In August 2021, in light of this assessment, the Council made amendments to AQMAs 1 and 3 and revoked AQMA 4.

Following the most recent changes, the current AQMAs are:

  • Ipswich Air Quality Management Area No. 1– Encompassing the land in and around the junction of Norwich Road, Chevallier Street and Valley Road, this area extends along Chevallier Street to the junction with Providence Lane.
  • Ipswich Air Quality Management Area No. 2 – From the junction with Peel Street, extending along Crown Street, St Margarets Street and St Helens Street to the junction with Palmerston Road, and from St Margarets Street extending up Woodbridge Road to just beyond the junction with Argyle Street.

All of the above designations were made in relation to the likely exceedance of the annual mean nitrogen dioxide objective.

Officers are currently working on reviewing and updating the 2019-2024 Air Quality Action Plan to reflect the changes made in August 2021.

A copy of the Revocation Order for AQMA 4 is available here.

Ipswich Borough Council monitors the air quality in Ipswich using automatic monitors and numerous diffusion tubes across the town.

Automatic monitors

Automatic monitors give an accurate representation of the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide at the monitoring station.  This data can be accessed in real-time via the Air Quality England website.

Diffusion tubes

These tubes are mounted on lamp-posts, signposts or buildings and give a reading of Nitrogen Dioxide over a four week period.

The accuracy of diffusion tubes can vary by as much as 30% so they are generally used to identify long term trends.

The review and assessment of the air quality in Ipswich is an ongoing process and we welcome your views, comments or ideas.

Air Pollution and Health

Find out how air pollution can impact on health.

What can I do to improve air quality?

Find out how you can improve air quality.

Simple ways to Improve Air Quality

Environmentally friendly travel

All four of the Air Quality Management Areas in Ipswich have been identified because of higher than desired levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, as a direct result of transport related pollution. This can be reduced if, wherever possible, we:

  • Use public transport or better still, walk or cycle and improve your health and the air quality;
  • Car share with friends and work colleagues;
  • Keep your car in good condition - tuning, the correct tyre pressure and regular servicing all help make it more efficient (and save on fuel bills);
  • Try not to use roof racks unless really necessary - these increase drag;
  • Only use air conditioning when you really need to - it increases fuel consumption;
  • Drive smoothly - excessive braking and accelerating uses more fuel;
  • Reduce weight where possible by removing unnecessary items from the boot;
  • Turn off engine when stationary, if it is safe to do so.

Air Quality Resources for schools

Air Quality resources and activities for schools.

Reducing pollution at home

Wherever possible, please:

Development and Air Quality

When assessing planning applications in relation to their potential impact on the local air quality, officers refer to the most recent guidance from Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) and the institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) together with the Councils Adopted Local Plan and Low Emissions SPD.  Developers should consult the below documents: 

Biomass boilers

If you intend to install a Biomass boiler please download and complete the application form below:

Application for Biomass boiler

Popular tasks

Contact Details

Environmental Health,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,