New demands for action over Storrington air pollution

New calls are being made for action over poor air quality in Storrington.

Former parish councillor Mark Lewis donned a gas mask and placard to highlight his concerns in the village centre last week.

Mark Lewis protesting over air pollution in Storrington. Photo: Caroline Instance SUS-191023-161337001

Mark Lewis protesting over air pollution in Storrington. Photo: Caroline Instance SUS-191023-161337001

And scores of villagers later took to social media praising his efforts and pledged to join him in future protests.

Storrington has already been acknowledged as being among the worst places in Britain for air quality.

Earlier this year a group of residents at Manley’s Hill again pleaded for action over what they described as a ‘toxic trench’ in the area.

The village has suffered high levels of pollution for more than 20 years and was last year named as the fourth worst place in Britain for air quality - worse even than London.

“No-one is doing anything about it,” said Mark Lewis, who has put forward proposals to West Sussex County Council for a contra flow system which he believes will help ease traffic congestion.

“We need to dissuade 28,000 cars a day that drive through Storrington because it’s easier than travelling along the A27 - because the A27 doesn’t work. They all go through Storrington.

“For nearly 12 hours every day, the traffic idles in the High Street and in Washington Road. There is a traffic jam permanently there which adds to the toxicity of the area.”

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “Storrington has been declared an Air Quality Management Area and as such has an Air Quality Steering Group, attended by representatives of West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council and Storrington Parish Council and other stakeholders as appropriate.

“The purpose of the steering group is to contribute to the development of an Air Quality Action Plan and they are the decision-making body for the action plan measures to be taken forward. In recent years a number of options have been considered and trialled, and recently two schemes designed to improve traffic flow through High Street have been completed.

“A request to control traffic movements in Manleys Hill at the junction with School Hill has been received and is currently being evaluated by West Sussex County Council. The ability to deliver any scheme is subject to understanding its feasibility, an evaluation of its costs and benefits, and the prioritisation of resources to progress it. There are currently no committed proposals to consider controlling traffic flow through the use of temporary traffic signals.”