An Open Message to All Chideock Residents from the Chideock Bypass Working Group

The dust is settling on the results of our recent village poll and it is time that we, the Chideock Bypass Working Group, give our opinion of the results.
Firstly we are struck by the many similarities between the opinions published as “17-Aug-2017 Chideock Parish Poll Results & Possible Implications” and the message we have been trying to expound in our own efforts. It must be emphasised that for all the arguments over validity of our survey, choice of questions (remember that Sir Oliver Letwin directed that a specific route MUST be identified in the survey) and meaning of the outcome, the final choice of route for the bypass (if there is to be one) will be made by Highways England and Dept. of Transport AND that route could just as easily be within our parish, and indeed crossing North Road approximately on the line of the original proposal. The published assessment of the poll actually says: “As for the feasibility of the 2 proposals, that is well beyond the scope of what can be expected of a parish electorate”. Bearing this in mind we cannot agree that the parish opinion implicitly excludes the building of a bypass within our parish. This conclusion is greatly exaggerated when it states that the pertinent question 1 was very significantly supported at the parish meeting. In numbers that “significant support” was actually 44 which is less than 10% of the registered voters and not even half of those attending the meeting. In fact in terms of numbers the result of the poll almost exactly mirrors the result of the survey carried out in March (although the poll achieved a slightly lower response rate). Since there was no question in the poll for a bypass within the village we believe that the “YES” vote simply indicates that the villagers of Chideock JUST WANT A BYPASS!!
On the question of de-trunking the A35 as being the cheapest and simplest means of improving our situation we maintain our old advice that de-trunking cannot work unless a nearby and suitable alternative route is provided – simply put, there would be nowhere else for the traffic to go. If like us you are really concerned at the ever increasing pollution, traffic congestion, worsening safety risks and the slow destruction of our beautiful but fragile ancient village then PLEASE lobby one or all of the following:
Sir Oliver Letwin –
Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan –
Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling –
Dorset County Councils -0 Cllr. Daryl Turner –
West Dorset DC – Cllr. Simon Christopher –
Chideock Parish Council –
Spelling out for them all:
 The health hazards currently arising from air pollution and getting worse
 The safety issues posed by the A35 through our village and getting worse
 The destruction of our ancient village by the incessant traffic vibration
 The worsening traffic congestion and its impact on the local economy
Successive Governments have tried to mitigate the need to build more roads by extoling the virtues of using public transport but we are in a rural community which has precious little public transport. The measures so far taken to decrease traffic through Chideock have failed miserably the traffic has increased some 58% in the last 20 years. Between 2000 and 2015 In Great Britain the number of licenced diesel cars increased from 3.2 million to 11.4 million and the number of licensed diesel light goods vehicles (LGVs) increased from 1.8 million to 3.5 million. The case for the construction of a Chideock bypass has been proven repeatedly over the years with promises having been made in 1976; 1984 and 1994. But nevertheless pavements in the village remain narrow and non-continuous, in places non-existent. The road is too narrow for large trucks to pass in safety. There are junctions with restricted visibility, in some cases just a few metres. The road gradient exceeds 12% and nowhere is it level. The stopping distance visibility is limited for much of the road length, severely so in some places. All Main Street properties suffer unacceptable levels of noise, chemical and particulate pollution. In addition ground vibration poses a serious threat to many of the listed buildings (35 Grade II and 1 Grade I on Main Street alone). Current levels of noise and pollution already exceed EU, WHO and EPA maximums which fact alone should be enough to force the construction of a bypass.
This Group has much unfinished work to complete and we intend to continue in our attempts to get the bypass that our village requires so badly. And in these attempts we shall bear no malice in our will; no anger in our resolve; no acrimony in our determination; and no weakening in our efforts to achieve a bypass for Chideock.
The Government needs to build more roads
And for us in Chideock it needs to give us our bypass
CBWG / 2 September 2017