Fears pollution poses health risk to residents in Botley

Daily Echo: Members of the Botley Air Pollution group Members of the Botley Air Pollution group

IT IS a historic village that dates back to at least the tenth century.

With narrow streets built in a time when horse and carts were the way to get about, Botley in many ways is an English countryside idyll.

But the very streets that are part of its charm are also causing villagers major problems.

Now surrounded by other settlements, Botley sees more than 15,000 cars and lorries pass through its centre every day.

And the proximity of the h o u s e s o n the high street to the road are causing a tunnel effect – trapping pollutants and creating high levels of chemicals in the atmosphere.

These are, in turn, breathed in by villagers – and though the true extent of the health dangers are not known, general wisdom says that children, the elderly and those with underlying lung conditions are most likely to be at risk.

Villager Ron Clark said: “I came down here from London to get away from the pollutions because of my asthma and it’s actually got worse.”

Now campaigners are calling for a study into exactly how pollution is affecting residents’ health.

The area between Broad Oak and Mill Hill in the village was designated an “Air Quality Management Area”

because of high levels of pollutants recorded by council officials.

Residents of the newlyformed campaign group Botley Air Pollution quizzed officers from the Hampshire County Council’s transport department on what could be done to solve the problem at a recent meeting.

Transport bosses at the council recently ruled out building a bypass in the village for the next 20 years – saying there was not enough justification.

But villagers say their quality of life, homes and health are at risk.

Cathie Fraser, Botley ward councillor on Eastleigh Borough Council, said she would be asking the county council to fund a study, but also wants villagers to gather their own evidence.

She said: “My advice to anyone living in the centre of the village is to keep a health diary.

“How many colds are you getting? Have you had any incidents of serious lung infections?

“It would give those that have this responsibility an impression of what people are suffering.

“We do need an expert to actually baseline a study and I’m willing to fight the cause to get the county, given their public health duty, to see how they’re going to fund this.”

Chairman of Botley Air Pollution, s said it made financial sense of the council to fund a study.

He said: “It’s well worth spending a small amount of money to get the answers, before you get a massive bill from a conglomerate of insurance companies.”

The group also called on the Hampshire County Council officers to push for a review into the case for a Botley bypass.

Responding, Steve Jenkins, from Hampshire County Council’s Highways Development Planning department, said that more information was needed about new developments planned for the area before the issue would be looked at again.

“But I don’t think there would be anything for me to take to the executive member at this time.”

For more information about Botley Air Pollution group, email steve@botleyairpollution.co.uk.

Comments (12)

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12:46pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Andy Locks Heath says...

If you want a scientific study do it properly or not at all. What is proposed here is simply a facile exercise with little or no proper control whose sole purpose is to justify a predetermined outcome.
The arguments about pollution "tunnel effects" which are dubious would clearly and obviously apply to every built up road in the centre of every town. It could equally be argued that any chimney (tunnel) effect caused by confining buildings actually removes road pollution by creating a constant draft effect. This is not scientific study - Why does Botley think itself geographically unique?
If you want a scientific study do it properly or not at all. What is proposed here is simply a facile exercise with little or no proper control whose sole purpose is to justify a predetermined outcome. The arguments about pollution "tunnel effects" which are dubious would clearly and obviously apply to every built up road in the centre of every town. It could equally be argued that any chimney (tunnel) effect caused by confining buildings actually removes road pollution by creating a constant draft effect. This is not scientific study - Why does Botley think itself geographically unique? Andy Locks Heath

1:08pm Sat 23 Jun 12

ghunter717 says...

In a survey that was sent to ALL Households in 2011, 85% of residents who responded did NOT want the Botley By-Pass if it meant 2,700 more homes in the area as outlined in the Lib Dem-Controlled Easleigh Borough Council Local Plan 2011 - 2029. 89% of those who responded to the survey thought these extra homes would completely choke the Parish of Botley with more vehicles, and lead to gridlock, in other area's of the Parish such as Kings Copse Avenue. Also 54% residents were worried a By-Pass would kill off passing trade in the village centre, traders are struggling now, with the local butchers recently closing. However WITHOUT the 2,700 proposed extra homes, 43% of residents supported the By-Pass.
Two articles on this subject were published in the Southern Daily Echo in October 2011 & January 2012. It would have been balanced if they had been referenced in this article.”
In a survey that was sent to ALL Households in 2011, 85% of residents who responded did NOT want the Botley By-Pass if it meant 2,700 more homes in the area as outlined in the Lib Dem-Controlled Easleigh Borough Council Local Plan 2011 - 2029. 89% of those who responded to the survey thought these extra homes would completely choke the Parish of Botley with more vehicles, and lead to gridlock, in other area's of the Parish such as Kings Copse Avenue. Also 54% residents were worried a By-Pass would kill off passing trade in the village centre, traders are struggling now, with the local butchers recently closing. However WITHOUT the 2,700 proposed extra homes, 43% of residents supported the By-Pass. Two articles on this subject were published in the Southern Daily Echo in October 2011 & January 2012. It would have been balanced if they had been referenced in this article.” ghunter717

2:00pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Forest Resident says...

With a large number of HGV's passing through the village simply to get to the VOSA Goods Vehicle Test Station on Hillsons Industrial estate, might I suggest before millions of tax payer £'s is wasted that someone in authority wake up and realise as per DFT policy the VOSA Test Station is likely to be closed in the not too distant future, thereby drastically reducing the HGV throughput in Botley and reducing pollution at zero expense!
With a large number of HGV's passing through the village simply to get to the VOSA Goods Vehicle Test Station on Hillsons Industrial estate, might I suggest before millions of tax payer £'s is wasted that someone in authority wake up and realise as per DFT policy the VOSA Test Station is likely to be closed in the not too distant future, thereby drastically reducing the HGV throughput in Botley and reducing pollution at zero expense! Forest Resident

2:20pm Sat 23 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health.
This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health. chunky_lover

3:31pm Sat 23 Jun 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

NIMBYism is their biggest disease
NIMBYism is their biggest disease OSPREYSAINT

3:34pm Sat 23 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already...
well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already... chunky_lover

3:40pm Sat 23 Jun 12

freefinker says...

chunky_lover wrote:
This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health.
.. you has a degree of control over diet.
.. but not the air you must consume.
[quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health.[/p][/quote].. you has a degree of control over diet. .. but not the air you must consume. freefinker

3:41pm Sat 23 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

freefinker wrote:
chunky_lover wrote:
This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health.
.. you has a degree of control over diet.
.. but not the air you must consume.
I'm not quite sure you understand this. Please research the point more fully first.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: This is utter utter nonsense, the effects of pollution are orders of magnitude less important than diet and nutrition towards health.[/p][/quote].. you has a degree of control over diet. .. but not the air you must consume.[/p][/quote]I'm not quite sure you understand this. Please research the point more fully first. chunky_lover

7:52pm Sat 23 Jun 12

wossit says...

Plus the air probably cleaner now than when ever one was burnibg coal
Plus the air probably cleaner now than when ever one was burnibg coal wossit

9:20pm Sat 23 Jun 12

TR1996 says...

chunky_lover wrote:
well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already...
I live in Botley and I'm not fat.

but, I can see your point!

but just for the record, people need to stop being so rude about Botley.
[quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already...[/p][/quote]I live in Botley and I'm not fat. but, I can see your point! but just for the record, people need to stop being so rude about Botley. TR1996

9:21pm Sat 23 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

TR1996 wrote:
chunky_lover wrote:
well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already...
I live in Botley and I'm not fat.

but, I can see your point!

but just for the record, people need to stop being so rude about Botley.
It's nothing about Botley, I'm not even sure where that actually is!! I'm just going on the article and the photograph :-)
[quote][p][bold]TR1996[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chunky_lover[/bold] wrote: well, its ridiculous - half of them in that photo are fat and sick already...[/p][/quote]I live in Botley and I'm not fat. but, I can see your point! but just for the record, people need to stop being so rude about Botley.[/p][/quote]It's nothing about Botley, I'm not even sure where that actually is!! I'm just going on the article and the photograph :-) chunky_lover

12:17am Sun 24 Jun 12

mrblunt says...

Sounds like a lot of hot air about very little.
Sounds like a lot of hot air about very little. mrblunt

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