MORE will be revealed about pollution levels affecting a west Dorset community.

Three years ago, the parish council in Chideock invited the University of Bristol to conduct a research project investigating the different types of environmental pollution caused by traffic on the A35 which runs through the village.

Now, the expert behind the research project, Professor Dudley Shallcross, will be presenting the findings at a public meeting in the village hall tonight - Wednesday, May 22 - at 7pm.

The university finalised their report earlier this year based upon their visits and provided the parish council with a copy of it in April 2024.

The university concluded that the village has unique features which create higher levels of Particulate Matter, between PM2.5 to PM10, which includes the fact that the village sits in a steep valley, the gradient of one hill is excessive, the village is impacted by high congestion, numerous junctions and standing traffic. The impact of prevailing winds also make a difference to the distribution of the particulate pollution.

Particulate Matter is everything in the air that is not a gas. It consists of a variety of chemical compounds and materials, some of which can be toxic.

The evidence from the research has demonstrated that the impact of the pollution is especially high during the summer period, which is related to brake and tyre use.

Chideock was declared as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in 2007 due to the excessive levels of traffic causing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) air pollution.

Friends of the Earth claimed that Chideock Hill was the worst for air pollution in England, breaching air pollution limits after a data audit revealed 1,360 sites across England had breached the annual Air Quality Objective for NO2 levels in 2020.

A year later, an episode of the BBC TV series Countryfile evidenced that traffic related to Particulate Matter pollution within the village was higher than the recommended guidelines.

Following this, the parish council decided to instigate independent research into the pollution, with Bristol University expressing an interest, conducting three years worth of research.

In an effort to fix the issue, the speed limit was reduced from 40mph to 30mph on Chideock Hill. 

Although there has been improvement in these levels, the west end of the village still sees levels exceeding the government statutory level.

All are welcome to tonight's meeting.