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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.

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.

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

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, extending along Chevallier Street to beyond the junction with Waterloo Road.
  • Ipswich Air Quality Management Area No. 2From 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.
  • Ipswich Air Quality Management Area No. 3Following the route of the Star Lane / Key Street / College Street gyratory clockwise from the junction with Lower Orwell Street, extending along Star Lane, Grimwade Street, Fore Street, Salthouse Street, Key Street and College Street, terminating at the junction with Bridge Street.

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.

Simple ways to Improve Air Quality

Environmentally friendly travel

All three 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.

Reducing pollution at home

Wherever possible, please:

  • Burn smokeless fuels;
  • Buy water-based or low solvent paints;
  • Avoid lighting bonfires and compost green waste.

Development and Air Quality

Advice for developers on development and air quality is available in a planning document Air Quality Management and New Development 2011.

Biomass boilers

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

Application for Biomass boiler