Calls for investigation over Birdlip air pollution
ASTHMA is affecting the lives of some Birdlip residents because they are living in a traffic hotspot.
That's the claim being made by one politician who has taken growing concerns over air pollution to the Government.
The affected area is Crickley Hill and the Air Balloon roundabout where the busy A417 from Gloucester to Cirencester meets the A436 towards Oxford.
Sir Graham Watson, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West, has written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs calling for an investigation.
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Sir Graham said: "I hope that Defra will take these concerns very seriously and ensure something can be done to tackle what is a major health issue."
High levels of nitrogen oxide (NO2) coming from vehicle fumes could be to blame for new cases of asthma among locals, he added.
Birdlip resident Avice Townsend, 79, who has lived in the area for around 60 years, said: "It's a huge problem. You can smell it and it hangs around on the road.
"It is getting very much worse with the big diesel transporters that use the road, giving us all these extra fumes to deal with. We wanted a tunnel to be built some 10 years ago but it never happened and now there isn't any money to do it.
"I only wish the people who make these decisions would come and visit us and see what we have to put up with."
Four years ago, Cotswold District Council made an Air Quality Management Area Order because the NO2 levels at the Air Balloon roundabout exceeded the recommended thresholds. An action plan was published but the authority said that it was not responsible for the management of the highway network.
Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Churn Valley) said: "Residents living near Birdlip are very concerned about the effects of pollution.
"They are unable to sit outside their homes and their lives have been transformed as use of the road has increased."
New bosses at the Air Balloon pub say they haven't been in situ long enough to say if it is an issue.