The Community Website is a forum for exchange of information, promoting village events, history of the village and much more. With regard to the issue of a proposal for a bypass the website feels that it cannot show any bias and will to that end be prepared to publish information giving information from all parties. However, all contributions must be concise and well intentioned as it has always been our policy to never publish any comments that are in any way harmful to the community intent of the website. The Editor and Web Master will not consider publishing anything from an anonymous source and will know who the content has been sent from and verify that with the user. The Editor & Web Master reserve the right to decide all content that appears on the website.
14/3/17 Contributor Comment
RECENT QUESTIONNAIRE AND SUGGESTED CHIDEOCK BYPASS ROUTE
Everyone would be in agreement that the traffic on the A35 through Chideock village is too heavy, the vehicles too large and that residents and pedestrians are put at risk
However, there is no agreement in the village concerning the actual route for the currently proposed bypass. The route, referred to in the recent Chideock News Questionnaire, would not go round the village but instead cut through it, destroying the age old beauty of the landscape for ever, very likely demolishing at least one home altogether, as shown in the original plan. This would simply shift the problem a few hundred meters along to another part of this lovely village. Chopping the village up in such a way would not preserve it for future generations. We also know that many people visit Chideock just to walk in its unique and scenic landscape. In addition, a bypass in the proposed location would be detrimental to local businesses relying on passing trade and we would lose our remaining village shop.
When, in the ‘90’s, this current plan was first proposed, an Engineer was engaged and surrounding land was found to be unstable. The project was then deemed to be unsuitable and the plan revoked. It is also fair to say that the problems of the A35 have been frequently addressed by the CPC, with countless meetings with relevant bodies, concerning the size and weight of HGV’s, volume of traffic and danger to residents and property. Chideock is also at the bottom of two very steep hills.
The Government has in fact committed £2 billion for the completion of a “South West Expressway”, linking the M3 (Basingstoke) to the M5 at Taunton. This will provide a fast two-way link for HGV’s and other traffic heading for the South West from London, thereby substantially reducing through-traffic on this A35.
Were there to be an actual bypass for Chideock that did not disect it, a far less damaging route could be landscaped to follow the flatter ground in Marshwood Vale, perhaps some along the pylon route, obviating the need to plough through villages and destroy homes.
Whatever happens, we first need to put our immediate attention to traffic calming and safety measures for pedestrians, discouraging HGV’s from using this route. A low emission zone and weight restrictions could be an excellent start and less expensive than the tens of millions involved in bitty bypasses set in the wrong places.
Those who bought property on the main road will have been aware of the difficulties on such trunk roads. It does not now seem fair that those who did not make that choice should be inflicted with a problem that would also destroy the nature of these AONB surroundings for everyone. For the reasons above, those we have so far spoken to, in the area to be affected by the current proposed Chideock bypass route and in other areas of Chideock, do not agree to the route of the bypass as currently proposed. We hope a better solution can be found.
RE: OBJECTIONS TO ROUTE
There is a steering group in the village who are attempting to resurrect the Chideock Bypass scheme, it was revoked in 1997. It is crucial that you are aware of the following facts before completing the questionnaire. It is a question of the actual route of the bypass.
Whilst this is supposedly a matter for the entire village either to campaign for or against and whilst the questionnaire is included in the Chideock News and on the Chideock and Seatown website, the proposed route map has only just been publicised and it does not demonstrate the real impact that this route will have on the residents who will be living right on top of, or indeed underneath it.
- The questions posed in the questionnaire are leading and biased in favour of the proposers. If you agree to the bypass, you are automatically agreeing to the route. Of course everybody would agree that traffic is too heavy, vehicles too large and that residents and pedestrians are at risk. What they are proposing is NOT a bypass, it is a busy road that will still go through the village on land that is privately owned, just not in front of the majority of proposers’ houses. This proposal quite literally moves the problem 300 metres inland, making it an issue for the residents of North Road, St Giles Close, Winniford Close and North Chideock to deal with. It will not solve the problem of traffic volume, noise or air pollution, it will indeed add to it. This questionnaire does not give the opportunity to object to the actual route, nor does it propose any alternatives other than this additional road.
- The proposed ‘bypass’ will cut across North Road, dividing Chideock from the northern part of the village, the Catholic Church and the Manor House. This road will be visible from all directions. It will destroy the landscape and change the nature of this beautiful village forever making it less attractive to visitors, at a huge cost financially (millions of pounds) and with very few of the benefits listed by the proposers. At least one of the beautiful older village residences, dating back to the 1800’s, will potentially have to be demolished or be uninhabitable due to the proximity of this proposed road , forcing a family from their home.
- The land through which this road will run was sold by The Department of Transport after they officially abandoned this plan some time ago. It is now privately owned.
- Some of the proposers who purchased their properties in the full knowledge that they were situated on a busy road may benefit from this scheme. The ‘property values protected’ claim does not ring true for the residents in the areas affected (detailed above) should this proposal go ahead. The village shop and local businesses, that rely on passing trade, would also be adversely affected by this proposal.
- It is unfair to say that there has been “30 years of inaction and prevarication by elected bodies”. Efforts have been made continuously over those years and regular meetings have been held, with all the relevant bodies regarding: the number, size and weight of HGVs; the amount of traffic passing through Chideock; traffic vibration, noise, harmful pollution and the risk to residents.
- If this is a matter for the residents of Chideock to decide, then the residents should be informed of ALL the options available to reduce the traffic on the A35 in order to make an informed decision. This has to be an open and honest process, there needs to be an unbiased questionnaire detailing all of these options.
- It is unfair for a group of villagers to propose a scheme that benefits them, but has a devastating effect on fellow villagers living a few feet away and also the unique and unspoilt beauty of the place. Our aim should be to work together, as a village, to support all those who have been addressing these problems for many years and find an option which benefits everybody.When completing the questionnaire, the majority may agree with the need for a reduction in traffic through the village and answer ‘yes’ to the questions in the Chideock News. In support of those residents whose homes will be adversely affected, our local businesses and the beautiful countryside, we need to think carefully before answering the questionnaire. You may well decide to state:I OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED ROUTE
Alternatively you could write a letter, objecting to the bypass route, and post it to Chideock House
Signed by : Sian Lyn-Jones, Jean Jones, Isabel Ward, Ian Dunn, Maureen Etheridge, Howard and Deirdre Coates.