HUNDREDS of Portland residents are backing a campaign to stop stone lorries coating everything in a thick layer of ‘horrendous’ white dust.

They say uncovered trucks carrying crushed stone and aggregate to and from Bumpers Lane, Wakeham, are creating an ‘unbearable’ atmosphere that leaves them gasping for breath.

A petition signed by 120 Wakeham residents is calling for measures to be imposed to stop the ‘unacceptable dust levels causing distress to older residents and worry to parents of infants and young children’.

They want to prevent road markings being ‘obliterated’ and the road surface becoming unsafe due to dust build-up on car wheels.

Another concern is that storm water drains are in danger of ‘imminent blockage’ due to the ‘worst experience’ of this kind in 30 years.

Resident Linda Whisselle, 62, said: “It’s obvious that Stone Firms Ltd have got a lot of work on at the moment. They keep bringing lorry-loads to a portable crusher at the back of our garden and then lorries come and take it away.

“They come out of Bumpers Lane between the houses and drive through Easton, but the lorries aren’t covered and the dust is horrendous.

“Years ago they used to have a wheel wash here to get the dust off, they also used to cover the lorries and sometimes have water spraying in the air to damp down the dust on top.

“It was pretty bad in the 1980s before they got their act together, but now all these measures seem to have stopped.”

She added: “People have been moaning and complaining to the council and the police because stones keep falling off the lorries.

“But when the council come to sweep the road it creates a big ball of dust, it’s like being in the Sahara.

“I’m asthmatic and my husband’s noticed I’m wheezing more. I walk up the street every day and it looks like its coated in sand.

“We worry about children in prams.”

A Wakeham resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The plants can’t breathe and it fills my home with dust. I keep catching my breath and thinking ‘Who’s trying to poison me’?”

Janet Long, 61, said: “Most drivers go carefully, but some don’t and dust goes up in the air and if you’re walking it’s really unbearable. When we had easterly winds recently, it was terrible.”

Tracy Gillespie said: “It just feels so gritty and dirty out there. I took my car to the car wash and three days later I couldn’t see through the windscreen.

“I’ve lived here 12 years and I’ve never experienced anything like this before.

“I wouldn’t mind if Stone Firms were doing their best to minimise it but when it seems like they’re not, it’s frustrating.”