Storrington Air Quality – your letters

Our article on Storrington’s air quality seemed to strike a chord.

Dear Editor Being a resident of Sullington I would like to comment on the article in your October issue and say I think it to be an excellent and well constructed piece which makes a number of very pertinent points in a sensible and balanced way. Surprisingly I understand there to be a reluctance at one or more of the schools to encourage turning off engines because of the attitudes of some parents and I hope your article will help create a change in this regard. Putting an end to some of the oldest coaches on the roads parked with engines idling at school drop off and pick up times would also be good. I hope you have in mind some form of follow up/progress reports. Richard Hurley
Dear Editor Though it’s BRILLIANT to have ANY articles regarding our traffic problems, I think your living in cloud cuckoo land with the switching your engine “off” line. Perhaps you have thrown this article out to get some response, and get us off our backsides to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS! I do hope so, as it’s been getting to me for years.
As the obvious solution is to put weight restrictions on both Pulborough and Amberley Bridge seems to get rejected for no valid reason, all I ever hear from anyone locally who has any influence says it just won’t happen. That’s NOT A VALID REASON…..is it? Dave Chard.
Dear Editor I’d argue that we, as a community, need to demand that Horsham District Council acknowledge that their Air Quality Action Plan has failed.
I agree that all in our local community need to take action to do what they can to reduce pollution but we cannot escape from the fact that a significant volume of that pollution is caused by people avoiding Arundel and Worthing; local community action will not reach those people. We need to exert pressure on our representatives in Parliament to take national action to reduce the number of petrol and diesel powered vehicles on our roads.
Finally, our community should use the opportunity posed by the Extinction Rebellion and the spotlight on environmental issues to highlight our concern over this blight on our lives to the District and County Councils; being prepared to take direct action if necessary. The media and the authorities will quickly become interested in our plight if we undertake to block High Street and West Street over a weekend by peaceful demonstration. Rob Daniel
Dear Editor Many thanks for the article written by Georgia and Jack. I think strongly suggesting to people that they can contribute to cutting pollution is very important. Getting people to take responsibility for their own actions is difficult. I should know having worked in the health service for several decades. Maybe a local ‘cut your engine’ campaign would be positive, especially is it involves posters designed by local children/teenagers.
When I talk to people who live in West Sussex, and beyond, they usually know of Storrington because it is their ’secret cut-through!’ With the advent of Sat Nav it is now not so secret. The population of Storrington has also increased significantly over the past 20 years and therefore we are experiencing an increase in local traffic that we will have to deal with even if other measures are put in place. Our bus services are dire and there needs to be a sensible policy which assists people to and from work at sensible prices and running later into the evening and co-ordinating with trains.
Finally, I wonder how local statistics for children with asthma compare with children in different regions in the rest of the country. I look forward to future articles. Sally Parfitt
Dear Editor Even the relatively small development of 60 odd properties to the north of Downsview Avenue would lead to apprx another 120 vehicles on the roads of Storrington.
If Horsham council are genuinely committed to improving the air quality in the village why are they approving numerous housing developments? I understand the need for more houses but why so many within the village?
The public transport infrastructure (limited bus services and no train station) in the village is not sufficient to tempt people away from their cars.
An increase in homes/people WILL lead to many more cars on the road and further increases to the already poor air quality. Richard (email supplied)
Dear Editor As a resident of Storrington for nearly 27 years, I have seen a massive increase in the amount of traffic through the Village and would like to comment on some of the points made: Use public transport – this is totally unfeasible! Many residents using the Village live in areas where there is NO public transport.
Walk – again, this is not a possibility for many people using the shops in the Village – I, for one, would have a two mile walk, and partly with no pavement.
Cycle – many residents are elderly and the facilities for securing bicycles in the Village are very limited.
I totally agree with not leaving engines running, although I must admit I have not witnessed this myself;
I believe the bigger issue is two-fold: The through traffic – there is no compulsory restriction on large delivery vehicles, but only ‘advisory’ notices. Whilst I do understand the need for deliveries to the shops, a lot of through traffic is not delivering to Storrington.
The volume of traffic has been exacerbated by HDC allowing the massive increase in housing development within Storrington and the surrounding areas, without thinking about the pressure on the infrastructure.
In summary, just turning engines off is not going to solve the problem! HDC need to look at the bigger problem that there are now too many houses and residents, with too many cars, with many living in the surrounding areas who cannot get into the Village any other way but by car. Amanda Hislop
Dear Editor I did not realise how critical the pollution was, but it is horrifying. The sooner they put a by-pass in the better. When there is a diversion in place from the A27 it all comes through Storrington. Even now, you can taste the pollution in the air. John N. Fairfax
Dear Editor Further to your article, which causes worry, what can we do? Can we not campaign for a weight restriction on Houghton Bridge. This might help save the poor bridge, which has cracks I think, and reduce the number of heavy lorries on the rat run. I would love to think that you could lead a campaign to this end. You would get a lot of support, I am sure. Peter Mace.
Dear Editor We (have lived) opposite Tescos Express/Esso garage for 10 years and have noticed the amount of traffic that goes through the village, we are horrified at the amount of HGVs that come down Amberley Road and through from Pullbourgh which has increased very much over time we have been here. Surly to stem these HGVs a weight restriction should be put at the roundabout off A27. I have noticed that I am having to use my inhalers more. Please don’t suggest we should move as we are pensioners, love the house we are in and cannot afford to move. Helen Nicholas
Dear Editor This publication that seeks to absolve HDC of any responsibility of solving the issue and puts the onus squarely on the residents. While it is undoubtedly true that a few ignorant people leave their motors running while parked, this amounts to a minuscule amount of pollution in the context of the whole problem. I note that HDC have not managed to implement any so called action plans yet but the two Traffic Regulation Orders are “imminently”!!
Everyone in Storrington knows that the route through the village is a “rat run” from the A29 to the A24 and until HDC does something to limit the heavy goods vehicles using this route the problem will persist.
The other main problem is that we have two pedestrian crossings in the village that halts the flow of traffic and are a main cause of the pollution; if there was one centrally positioned it would help the situation. G Wilks
Dear Editor I was pleased to read your article in the Sussex Local. I hope that readers will take notice. Most days I will walk around the village for exercise, but every time I will see people parked with their car engines running. Stationary vehicles with engines running will pollute more than moving vehicles. Also when stationary the polluting particles will remain at street level for many hours. With children their organs are still growing, so it means they along with ill people will suffer more. There are now large number of children that have breathing problems. I have very politely pointed this out to many people, but their attitude seems to be so what. I have seen many people sitting in cars with engines running in Spierbridge Road whilst waiting for children, and many more do the same in the car park of the nearby leisure centre. You will also see 3 and 4 do this in Old Mill Drive, whilst waiting for children arriving by bus. Also in this road people do it whilst a passenger goes off shopping. I hope you can manage some more campaigning. Ted Roberts

Editor’s note

Thank you for your feedback, please let’s keep the conversation going. Whilst of course the authorities need to take some action over the through traffic, our focus for the article was the parked car issue – after all this is something which we can all control.
We actually thought of including posters/leaflets in last month’s issue, at our own expense. Storrington Parish Council originally indicated that they wanted to join in and would fund the leaflets, then they changed their minds. We may still do this anyway, let us know if you like the idea. In late September The Parish Council, led by chairman Anna Worthington-Lees, voted recently (bar one councillor) not to declare a Climate Emergency. It has set up a climate “working party” consisting of any councillor who wished to volunteer. We offered to give them dedicated space in the magazine – free of charge – for their reports. So far no-one has responded. info@sussexlocal.net

This article first appeared in Sussex Local Magazine, Storrington edition November 2019

 

 

 

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