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Press Release - Proposed Low Emission Zone

This press release is to announce the publication of a report on the proposed Low Emission Zone for Chideock on the A35 (See LIBRARY for full report)

Chideock Parish Council has an agreed policy to seek to implement a Low Emission Zone along the A35 through Chideock and not to support the construction of a bypass. This is in spite of a survey and official parish poll showing almost 80% support for a bypass.

While a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) may suit other areas of the UK such as big cities, Chideock has a unique topography and is one of the major pinch points along the A35, one of the 18 key strategic routes in England.

Ten key issues have been identified that have to be resolved before a LEZ could be considered as a viable proposition for Chideock, namely:

  • Where does the traffic go?

  • What charges and penalties will be set?

  • What exemptions will apply to local residents?

  • What happens to Heavy Goods Vehicles?

  • How will the local farming community be affected?

  • Will motorcycles get charged or fined?

  • Can modified vehicles be identified?

  • What about illegally modified vehicles?

  • What will happen to foreign registered vehicles? and

  • Will vehicles be checked before they enter the LEZ?

Six alternative routes have been identified but only one is considered remotely viable and this would divert traffic round the LEZ via the A37 from Dorchester to Yeovil. The route would then follow the A30, A3088, A303 and A30 to Honiton. This was the preferred route put forward in the 2002 plan by the Highways Agency (predecessor of Highways England) but the A37 is not currently designated as a trunk road. The route would add approximately 25 miles to the journey and take around an hour longer, thereby adding to transport costs and deterring visitors.

Pollution is not the only problem facing Chideock. Introducing a LEZ will not solve the problems of some of the most dangerous airborne pollutants generated by traffic. Neither will it solve the problems of noise pollution, vibration, safety, quality of life and the protection of a unique medieval village. Chideock residents live under the constant threat of traffic accidents, in particular the catastrophic potential of out of control HGVs destroying the centre of the village. See for pictures and videos of recent incidents.

What is quite clear is that none of our local elected representatives or Highways England have any idea where the traffic would go after implementing a LEZ!

The only answer is a bypass.

If you agree please sign the Government Petition

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