Press release: – Chideock Bypass Working Group launches new Website
Or find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
This press release is to publicise the launch of a new website and associated social media presence highlighting traffic issues affecting the residents of Chideock on the A35
Summary of traffic issues in Chideock
- Planned growth along the A35 will be constrained by the inability of the existing road infrastructure to cope with increased demand.
- Congestion and delay will increase by up to 55% by 2050, especially during holiday periods, which will impact on tourism.
- Safety issues will increase because of more traffic. Many properties in Chideock have doors that open directly onto the A35 and there is no footpath along much of the South side of the road. Pedestrian access on the North side is also compromised for wheelchair users due to the severe camber.
- There is already an Air Quality Management issue in Chideock with levels of pollution as high as inner city locations in some places. Traffic Noise Important Areas have also been identified. All of which will be exacerbated by increased traffic though the village.
- The A35 cuts right through the heart of Chideock causing severance issues which will get worse as traffic levels increase.
- There are over 50 listed buildings within the village, many on the A35 and within the conservation area, that are being damaged by vibration. This is mainly caused by HGVs which damage the road surface and manhole covers combined
with inadequate maintenance by HE due to financial constraints. Numbers are increasing due to the recent expansion
of Southampton container port and the lack of any alternative East/West route.
- GATSO speed cameras in the village (only one of which actually works) are obsolete and do not deter HGVs from speeding through the village in their attempts to get up the steep hills in and out of the village. What is needed is a modern Average Speed detection system which could be linked to the pedestrian crossing in the village.
- HGVs regularly fail to get up the hill towards Morcombelake and have to resort to three-point turns or waiting for a tow,or worse reversing back down the hill and having another attempt (one recent HGV tried 13 times before giving up and having to be towed up the hill).
What the Group Does
The Chideock Bypass Working Group (CBWG) was formed towards the end of 2016 at the suggestion of Chideock Parish
Council (CPC) after the public meeting of the village in May 2016 with our MP the Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin (OL). The initial aim agreed with OL was to determine the level of support within the village for a bypass. Without any financial support from CPC, CBWG carried out a survey of residents and instigated a Parish Poll at the request of OL to identify public support for a bypass. With the results of both polls showing almost 80% support for a bypass OL has pledged to work with CPC and other Parish Councils to find a solution. CBWG continues to lobby for support with the key players Highways England (HE) and the Department for Transport (DfT). Recently we have developed our own website www.chideockbypass.co.uk and established a presence on social media sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We have also started a UK Government petition calling for a debate in Parliament.
What the Group hopes to achieve
CBWG aims to influence the spending plans for 2020-2025 in respect of the A35 Trunk Road which is one of the 18 key
strategic routes in England. Our hope is that funding will be found in HE’s forthcoming Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) tobuild a much needed bypass for Chideock and thereby alleviate the air pollution, road safety, noise, congestion and
community severance issues. Caused largely by the massive 58% increase in traffic between 1987-2016 since plans for the
previously agreed bypass were revoked. HE predicts a further 55% growth in traffic by 2050 which for anyone who regularly
travels or lives on the A35 through Chideock defies belief! CBWG also lobbies the Parish Council which continues with its agreed policy, that is to focus on safety improvements through the village that are considered to be achievable in the short to medium term. This translates as seeking to implement a Low Emission Zone along the A35 and not to support the construction of a bypass. The CPC’s approach to resolving A35 issues has not delivered much in the way of positive outcomes, traffic levels and pollution are both increasing.
CBWG would urge everyone who agrees that Chideock needs a bypass to look at our website, join our mailing list, like our
pages and posts on Facebook and Twitter and sign the petition.
Chideock Bypass Working Group – October 2017