Foot and Cycle Path between Chideock & Bridport
CBWG understand that a new initiative is under way for a cycle way / footpath between Chideock and Bridport and are fully supportive of this environmentally friendly and healthy proposal. This has been considered for many years but has never come to fruition for a number of reasons including change of land ownership. However with this new enthusiasm the hope is that this time it will actually happen.
However CBWG would like to remind everyone that whilst this would be a wonderful facility for villagers and tourists alike to be able to safely walk / cycle between the two locations it will in no way resolve any of the other many problems arising from the A35 passing through the Village. As CBWG has pointed out on many occasions these other problems all stem from the Annual Average Daily Traffic flow of 17,000+ vehicles which will only be solved once a suitable alternative route has become available.
CBWG submitted to Highways England (HE) a proposal for a bypass of approximately 2 miles in length, very much shorter than the agreed 1994 route. Since there is currently NO safe route in or out of Chideock for non motorised users our proposal also incorporated a pathway for pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and equestrians fulfilling a member of Dorset Council’s requirement that any such footpath must be accessible to all users both fit and disadvantaged. By “killing those two birds with one stone” our proposal will save Tax Payers Money - A kind of Buy One bypass Get One cycle/foot path Free.
Of course it could be argued that with a bypass removing the greater proportion of the 17,000 to 25,000 vehicles per day flowing through the village Main Street there would then be no need for a dedicated cycle/foot path since the existing road through the village would be able to safely cater for all non-motorised users.
Chideock has recently received much media coverage following the Friends of the Earth’s Report publishing the fact that parts of Chideock have the highest levels of traffic related Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution in the UK, well in excess of the statutory limits set by the Government.
CBWG is acutely aware of the frustrations felt within our village that despite EVERYONE knowing about the excessive NO2 pollution in parts of Chideock NO-ONE (including Central Government; Local Authority; our previous MP and the previous Parish Council) have actually done anything to reduce it. Contrary to some opinion our proposed bypass would NOT simply move the pollution from one part of the village to another since it would remove congestion from the village and with better traffic flow and reduced gradients vehicle engines would be working more efficiently and would therefore be producing much less NO2 in the first place. NO2 dissipates rapidly over distance even a few metres. Pollution outside the road perimeter is extremely low.(Air quality Consultants Bristol)
In conclusion we repeat that CBWG is fully supportive of any proposals to provide a safe non-motorised route between Chideock and Bridport BUT the only solution to all the problems of the A35 through Chideock is an alternative road.