the right hand turn to waterside

The Frodsham Rush Hour Traffic Jam

We have all been stuck in that traffic jam. This issue affects Frodsham residents as a whole. At rush hour when many commuters return to Frodsham there is a high volume of traffic. Cars have to wait as those in front of the attempt to turn right into the Waterside estate, while others turn right onto the main road from Fluin Lane. Traffic alleviates considerably after the dog legged junction of Fluin Lane and St Hilda’s Drive. Waiting for vehicles to cross the oncoming lane of traffic causes may engines to idle.

“An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. Exhaust emissions contain a range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. These can effect the air quality of the surrounding environment and the air we breathe.”
Source: Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

The issues with queuing traffic do not just affect the residents of Waterside, they affect Frodsham as a whole.

Entry Points To Waterside

There are the only two points of entry by road to the largest section of the Waterside, as demonstrated on the map. More housing in this area will exacerbate existing pollution and traffic problems.

“Environmental disadvantages are burdened unfairly on poorer members and in poorer areas of society. The more disadvantaged a community, the more likely they are to lack good quality open spaces, easy walking and cycling routes and well located services. They are also more likely to experience environmental burdens such as pollution and crime. All of these factors contribute to clear inequalities in society.”
Source: Cheshire West & Chester Place Plan

NO2 Levels Exceed EU Limits

In 2017, when the levels of nitrogen dioxide were monitored at this junction, they exceeded the EU limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. The reading in 2017 was 40.5 These are annual limit values for the protection of human health set by the European Environment Agency. When examining the latest data from the 2018 Frodsham Air Quality Action Plan the readings are significantly higher at 45.8 micrograms per cubic metre.

It is of important that levels of nitrogen dioxide begin to decrease and do not continue to grow. Putting more pressure on this junction with more housing on the Waterside Ward would be inadvisable from an environmental standpoint.

Potential solutions: Prohibitively expensive

Intervention Potential Beneficial Effects Feasibility, Acceptability and Consequences
Remove St Hilda’s Drive arm from junction by providing a new access route to this estate or improving the junction of A56 / Ship Street
This would offer more scope for improving capacity at the Fluin Lane junction and thereby reducing queueing traffic on Fluin Lane and the A56.
This would attract large costs associated with acquiring the necessary land and constructing and new linkages.
Build a relief road for the whole of the Ship Street area (this would reduce traffic exiting opposite Fluin Lane and further down opposite Morrison’s). The Ship Street area has seen significant development in recent years with no corresponding improvements to road infrastructure, access routes etc.
Would potentially reduce traffic flows in AQMA.
Likely to be prohibitively expensive.
Convert the Ashton Drive underbridge to a one-way exit road for the Ship Street area traffic.
Would potentially reduce traffic flows in AQMA.
Likely to be prohibitively expensive.

Air Quality Objectives

The Frodsham Air Quality Action Plan 2018 has two main objectives:

“Our main priority is reducing congestion and emissions. Our secondary priority is to raise awareness of the issue and through this assist with the third priority of promoting the uptake of low emission vehicles.”
Source: 2018 Frodsham Air Quality Action Plan

Housing In The Ship Street Area

The research shows that the Ship Street area does not have the infrastructure to support more housing. Potential solutions are all likely to be prohibitively expensive. This area has been developed significantly in recent years without the creation of the infrastructure to support it.

More housing in this area will have a negative impact on the air quality management area (AQMA).

Air pollution: A silent killer

Public Health

The government is clear about the adverse effects of air pollution.

“Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, as long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy.”
Source: Public Health England – Health matters: air pollution

The Scale Of The Problem

Air pollution has a significant effect on public health, and poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. In 2010, the Environment Audit Committee considered that the cost of health impacts of air pollution was likely to exceed estimates of £8 to 20 billion.

Epidemiological studies have shown that long-term exposure to air pollution (over years or lifetimes) reduces life expectancy, mainly due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and lung cancer. Short-term exposure (over hours or days) to elevated levels of air pollution can also cause a range of health impacts, including effects on lung function, exacerbation of asthma, increases in respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions and mortality.

Pollutants & The Body

When air pollutants enter the body, they can have effects on various different organs and systems, not just the respiratory system. This includes; the eyes, nose and throat, the lungs and respiratory system and the heart. Heart and blood vessel diseases, including strokes and hardening of the arteries, are one of the main effects of air pollution.

Emerging evidence suggests that air pollution may also affect the brain and is possibly linked to dementia and cognitive decline. There is also emerging evidence associating air pollution with early life effects such as low birth weight.

Air Pollution & Health Inequalities

Although air pollution can be harmful to everyone, some people are more affected because they live in a polluted area, are exposed to higher levels of air pollution in their day-to-day lives, or are more susceptible to health problems caused by air pollution. The most vulnerable face all of these disadvantages.

Groups that are more affected by air pollution include:

  • Older people
  • Children
  • Individuals with existing CVD or respiratory disease
  • Pregnant women
  • Communities in areas of higher pollution, close to busy roads
  • Low-income communities
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