The improvement of traffic conditions on the A361 has been a priority for the Greens in Glastonbury, including sending out a Speedwatch team to check traffic speeds and engaging the services of Campaign to Protect Rural England in an HGV survey, a process which is on-going.
Green Councillor Lindsay McDougall – who has been closely involved with the campaign which calls on Somerset County Council Highways Department to reclassify the A361 through Glastonbury, imposing a maximum weight limit of 7.5T, and removing its freight route designation – said recently, “We are campaigning for a zebra-crossing in Chilkwell Street and received a site visit from Somerset County Highways… without a positive result, therefore, Glastonbury Town Council attempted to go to the Ombudsman on this matter. Unfortunately, the Ombudsman have turned down the request, as they don’t deal with councils...”
Cllr. MacDougall confirmed that testing for NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide gas) is going ahead in Chilkwell Street: “The Town Council is now ordering five £10 NO2 kits from cleanairuk.org to test the air quality along the road.”
“Mendip have tested air quality at the Rural Life Museum roundabout at the top of Bere Lane, but the air quality is potentially worse where the buildings are close to the road on both sides and provide a ‘canyon-like’ effect – where the fumes cannot disperse so readily. This is a recognised environmental effect on roads, and that's why we feel Glastonbury Town Council should conduct our own tests.”
“Mendip currently claim the air quality is within legal limits, which is questionable, particularly in these places – at the Rifleman’s pub and then around where the new houses were built right next to the road!”
In the meantime, Glastonbury’s Green Councillors have been informed that – in the search for long-term solution to the congestion on the A361 – the Department of Transport are currently in discussions about undertaking a feasibility study for an up-grade of the road system across mid-Somerset!
Watch this space!