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CONCERNS have been raised about traffic pollution in the Market Place with local resident, Brian Warwick, calling for clean air solutions around the town, including the planting of hedges and trees in large moveable planters.
Brian Warwick says, “Traffic pollution is a real killer and action is urgently needed to protect every one of us from the damage it does to our health, in particular young children and our senior citizens who are more vulnerable and likely to be at greater risk.
“On Monday evening the 3rd September, there was an excellent example on the BBC One Show of how hedges and trees placed in strategic places can considerably reduce traffic pollution. The TV clips called “hedges can save your lives” used advanced technology to analyse the pollution in hotspots close to higher density traffic polluted areas and how that pollution can be dramatically decreased, by using specific plant life to absorb pollution and increase the oxygen into the local environment.
“Locally the Melksham in Bloom volunteers and Melksham Town Council have done a fantastic job in helping to reduce a considerable amount of pollution by providing and encouraging more floral hanging baskets and plant tubs within the town and these have all helped to reduce pollution levels.
“We can go even further by planting more trees and hedgerows and encouraging the continental-style cafes themselves to place moveable plant holders around the outside their own establishments’ external space. This is very common on the continent, especially near to through traffic routes etc.
“As we progress to becoming a far more friendly community, please do take into account that we can improve all of our health if the present pollution level in our built environment was drastically tackled by adopting simple clean air solutions, along with far more environmental attention in our traffic and planning policies.
“With the increasing pollution in our built environment causing global warming, lung cancer, asthmatic problems and other serious diseases, we are waking up to the need to do more to tackling these issues by our own efforts and the introduction of more innovative actions.
“Our highway engineers need to take account that by increasing the traffic densities along routes through our communities that can also increase the traffic pollution into key hotspots.
“Such as we have seen around our Market Place roundabout which has, since the introduction of a one-way system at Church Street, generated much higher traffic, in turn created a higher level of traffic pollution around the Market Place.
“We also need to take account of the additional increase in traffic which in the future will be generated to and from the Campus site. It is also quite incredible that in recent time we have also lost a number trees because of planning policies and lack of replanting around the Market Place. Those trees would have helped to reduce pollution; such lack of forth sight is there for us all to see and unfortunately suffer.
“Today, we see more and more use of open external areas used by local coffee shops for smokers and other customers. Often these are close to roads and pedestrian crossings where traffic builds up, causing higher pollution. This is a hazard for those sitting close by for they will be absorbing traffic fumes into their lungs.”