Air pollution in Ipswich is not a major issue in next month's borough elections - but one pressure group is anxious to persuade councillors to take it seriously.

Ipswich CAN has written to councillors highlighting high levels of air pollution in parts of the town, especially near the centre, and have called for more action - including reducing the reliance on cars.

It has written to the leaders of the political groups on the borough to demand that action is taken to reduce air pollution and has claimed that up to 66 deaths in the town could be caused by pollution every year.

Both the borough and county council have responsibilities for air pollution.

Ipswich Star: Phil Smart from Ipswich council.Phil Smart from Ipswich council. (Image: Ipswich Labour Party)

Ipswich council executive member Phil Smart said it was the borough's responsibility to record pollution levels - but the road and traffic issues were in the hands of Suffolk County Council and that was the major cause of serious pollutants NOx and particulates.

He said: "There is evidence that in some places things have got better with cleaner engines and fewer diesel vehicles - but most of the vehicles in Ipswich have started their journey outside the town.

"There are also problems with switching to electric vehicles for many residents because homes in the town tend to be smaller and fewer have off-street parking so it is more difficult to charge electric cars at home."

Paul West is Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich and roads. He said there had been a number of initiatives across the county to try to reduce air pollution including at a school in Ipswich.

He said: "Suffolk’s first School Street scheme at Ranelagh Road Primary School in Ipswich commenced in January 2024.

"It will initially involve road closure at school drop off and pick up times, rather than a permanent closure. Others are being looked at with local County Councillors and schools."

He said the government was also considering providing funds to reduce pollution - and the council was looking at a scheme to plant more trees to soak up urban pollution.