The Air Pollution Debate

Posted by Nobody on 1 June 2015

Air Pollution levels in parts of the town remain well above the level which both the World Health Organisation and the EU consider safe.

Despite good progress working with Wiltshire Council to try to find ways to bring levels down we find ourselves in the unenviable situation where the town continues to grow, vehicle use, nationally, is predicted to increase steeply and our Council is woefully short of funds to tackle the problem of congestion.

Nevertheless, there is hope. We are at an interesting time; in April the Supreme Court castigated the government for its failure to take measures to reduce pollution and have demanded a detailed policy be prepared and submitted to the EU by the end of the year. Adding weight to the seriousness of the problem, much more research has emerged on the damage to public health done by the pollutants emanating from the exhaust pipes of the many vehicles that drive through the town.

Only last month the 68th World Health Assembly considered air pollution the largest single environmental risk and a leading cause of disease and death globally.   Our own government put the number of premature deaths in the UK caused by air pollution at 29,000 a year: more than through obesity and alcohol combined.

These hard facts underline the seriousness of our situation, living as we do, in a pleasant rural town, but with an invisible enemy threatening our health. What is to be done?   If we drive into or through the town we too are polluters. Can we help?

At 7.30 on 26th June in the Town Hall the facts will be laid bare and Wiltshire Council will explain what they are doing and wish to do if monies are forthcoming.  As always the Trust wants to give its members and the public at large the chance to contribute to the solution.

Do come along, bring your friends and neighbours and have your say on one of the most important issues of our day.

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