Car exhaust fumes along Victoria Road in Fenton spark health scare
MAJOR changes are set to take place along a busy road in a bid to stop residents breathing in dangerous amounts of car exhaust fumes.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council wants to spend £60,000 making the improvements along Victoria Road, in Fenton.
The proposals, which will be introduced along a half-mile stretch from Dewsbury Road to City Road, come after slow moving and stationary traffic was blamed for poor air quality along the stretch.
The work, which will help improve the flow of traffic, will include:
Changes to the existing parking, loading and unloading restrictions at peak traffic times;
The installation of new and replacement road markings;
New direction signs indicating to motorists the nearest available on-street and off-street parking facilities;
Bus stop improvements aimed at making existing bus stops more accessible to promote public transport, thereby, reducing car use and congestion.
Former city councillor Mick Bell, aged 72, of Mount Pleasant, said: "There will be an issue with fumes and there are a number of houses which are based along Victoria Road and that isn't right for them.
"I understand it is important for businesses to have loading times but it should be like everywhere else where there are specified times. When a wagon stops a bus cannot get past and then you get problems."
The scheme, which has been recommended for approval and is being funded by a Government grant, will also see changes to pedestrian crossings, meaning people will be forced to wait longer before crossing the road.
However, nearby traders today criticised the plans, claiming they will be disruptive and 'a waste of money.'
Jackie Forrest, of Fenton, who works in The Cake Shop, said: "The council has told us we would have to have our deliveries brought around the back but that wouldn't be possible.
"Our delivery drivers are on a certain route so they can't make special arrangements just for us and there is nowhere for them to pull up around the back.
"The changes to the crossings are ridiculous too. People already have to wait too long to cross as it is."
Thirty three-year-old Gurpreet Singh, who runs the Fenton Fryer, said: "People pull up on the road because they nip in for a few minutes and it has never caused a problem with traffic before.
"I have never known traffic to stop because of a few parked cars. The plans would mean our delivery drivers wouldn't be able to stop outside. I don't know how that would work because they can deliver up to 25 bags of potatoes each week."
The owner of Fenton Domestic, Andy Steele, aged 45, of Burslem, said: "When the delivery vans are pulled up on the side the traffic just sorts itself out by overtaking. It's not really a problem."
Anthony Jose, aged 36, of Hanley, owner of Uplink Computers, added: "It will make no difference to the flow of traffic, it will just become an inconvenience to shoppers and delivery drivers who will now have to work harder."
Pete Price, assistant director of technical services at the council, said: "This scheme aims to improve air quality by reducing congestion and enabling a greater free flow of traffic."