Wiltshire Publications

Issue 466 – Poor air quality in Warminster Road

THE level of air pollution in Warminster Road is failing to meet national air quality objectives and standards.

A Wiltshire Council report shows that the level of nitrogen dioxide in the busy Westbury road fails to meet the health related objectives derived by the government’s ‘Expert Panel on Air Quality’: objectives which are based on the epidemiological studies of the toxicity and effect that pollutants have on human health.
Nitric gases are produced when fossil fuels are burnt, and road transport is one of the biggest sources of such pollutants. Nitrogen dioxide is a gaseous pollutant that can have both acute and chronic effects on health, particularly in people with asthma.
David Levy, chair of The Air That We Breathe Network said, “The emotive issue of the Westbury bypass was one arena I could not enter as I have group members who supported both choices. What did concern me was the way the A350 traffic trundles through a convoluted road layout and alongside housing for our Westbury residents and the high levels of pollutants from benzine-based fuels including nitrous oxides( NOx).”
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “The majority of Wiltshire has very good air quality, however there are a few locations where traffic congestion has a negative impact. We are working hard in an effort to reduce pollution in these areas. Westbury’s air quality action plan was largely based on the bypass proposals, however this plan will now be reviewed, something which will be done in connection with all three existing air quality action plans.”
Other locations in the county which fail to meet the national objectives for air quality include Masons Lane in Bradford on Avon, Shane’s Castle, Bath Road, Devizes, and Salisbury City Centre.