COLCHESTER'S Labour party has pledged to trial car-free days in the town centre in a bid to tackle air pollution.

On Saturday, the party launched what it calls an "exciting and radical" manifesto in preparation for Colchester Council elections in May.

The party will be fielding candidates in all 17 wards which are up for election on May 2.

Part of the manifesto, titled Making Colchester for the Many Not the Few, is a commitment to tackle air quality in the town.

Labour party bosses have pledged to consult on the possible pedestrianisation of the Colchester High Street, which could be introduced in conjunction with shuttle buses.

Another unique proposal is trialling "car-free days" in the centre of town, where only public transport would be permit to use the centre's busiest roads.

Tim Young, leader of the Labour Group of Colchester Council said: "This is an exciting and radical manifesto to face the challenges that lay ahead for a progressive local authority.

"For the first time in many years there is a very real prospect of a Labour-led council in Colchester after May 2.

"We love our wonderful Borough and this manifesto demonstrates how we will shape the future for Colchester."

Other commitments including a pledge to build more council homes, something the party says it has helped complete for the first time in 30 years with its Lib Dem and Highwoods Independent coalition partners.

Labour says it will push on with the garden communities approach in the borough's Local Plan, but promises an infrastructure first approach, affordable housing, employment zones and green buffers.

Mandatory 20 miles an hour zones at new developments, further funding for community policing and opposing Essex County Council's library closures also feature.

The idea of Colchester becoming a unitary authority "releasing us from the shackles of Essex County Council" will also be explored.

Mr Young continued: "We are confident the manifesto will find favour with the vast majority of local residents and we look forward to putting the case for Labour and our policies over the next few weeks.

"Contrast this with the alternative of a Conservative Party with its miserable record of cruel austerity measures, savage cuts, outsourcing and privatisation.

"The Tories offer you library and Post Office closures whereas Labour is offering investment, improved public services and a commitment to defending communities and protecting the environment.

"If you want a Better Colchester then Vote Labour."

The Conservative Party is the biggest group on Colchester Council, but lack an overall majority by one seat.

READ MORE: Colchester May elections: Everything you need to know

The full Colchester Labour manifesto can be found at