Press Release re Chideock air pollution
Chideock Parish Council
Press Release from Chideock Parish Council regarding NO2 pollution on the A35 in Chideock, Dorset
What are we waiting for?
After two decades of seeking to get the various professional bodies to address the impact of congestion on the village of Chideock, the analysis carried out by Friends of the Earth showing Chideock to have the highest NO2 levels in England (as reported in the Telegraph and other newspapers on Wednesday 29 July 2020) is no surprise. In fact, the fact that pollution is an issue for the village has been known about since Chideock was declared an Air Quality Management Area in May 2007. Regardless of two initiatives by Highways England in the last two years, one to consider the impact on the village through a safety and severance report and the second the commencement of a speed limit reduction trial in September 2019, both have either been ignored or poorly implemented by Highways England.
In some ways Chideock Parish Council feels that all of the public bodies concerned are ignoring the very real impact of pollution on this village, in order that they do not have to consider that action needs to be taken now to provide an alternative strategic route for HGVs / delivery vehicles and all non-local traffic. In addition, any possibility of providing additional safe crossing points for pedestrians appear to be years away.
National environmental air quality legislation currently only applies to cities and towns, hence the village of a Chideock has no national focus and no national funding for alternatives to be delivered through Highways England and Dorset Council. Visions of cycling, walking and green transport are all present in the Department of Transports new Road Investment Strategy 2 document which lays out the strategic network plan for 2020 - 2025 but despite Chideock featuring as a "pinch point" on the A35 Trunk Road in the draft document there is no mention of this is the final report - so Chideock has effectively disappeared as an issue off the Governments transport planning.
We have been asked what we think and what should happen next?
Chideock Parish Council needs our Dorset Ward Councillor, Dorset Council, our MP Chris Loder and the Ministers responsible for DEFRA and the Department of Transport to stop procrastinating and to start doing.
Take this matter seriously, we need your help!
Decisions need to be made now - the village of Chideock is as important environmentally as any town or city and the A35 as a strategic route through this village is not fit for purpose.
Chideock needs an alternative route!
Sal Robinson, Parish Clerk
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Chideock, Bridport, Dorset