A Government Minister visited Storrington to meet people yesterday (Wednesday) and address the ongoing concerns of traffic air pollution.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond met with Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert and the chairman of Horsham District Council, Philip Circus, to walk Storrington High Street and assess how traffic-related pollution in the area could be tackled.
Mr Hammond said: “We do need to upgrade our infrastructure in this country and there are some critical pinch points and we’ve identified six of those, one being the A27.”
Earlier this year The Storrington Traffic Management Options Appraisal report was prepared by air quality specialists to identify traffic movements through the High Street.
In June, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne announced plans for £100bn worth of spending to ‘modernise’ British infrastructure, which includes the A27.
“I’m here to look at the number of the issues that are causing problems in the village,” said Mr Hammond.
“Storrington have had some issues with air quality and traffic, and what I’m here to do is to understand how what we’ve announced about the A27 will help it.”
Mr Circus said: “I know from my own experience, I come along the A27 and quite often it will be more logical to stay on the A27 and go through Worthing and on to Arundel but at certain times it’s a problem to get through it and I understand why people are driving through Storrington and creating a real problem.
“That’s why the Minister is here and that’s why I have to say to him, we have a problem.”
Mr Herbert added: “It does give us the opportunity to show him the appalling levels of traffic in Storrington and the air quality issues.
“We really need the A27 upgraded with an Arundel bypass and a solution in Worthing, because we know so much of the traffic is caused by the rat running through the Downs.”
The Minister met with a number of shop owners on the High Street to hear their concerns.
Owner of ‘Tip Top Hair and Nails’ Thelma Mills said seven lorries had hit her shop front.
“The shop has been struggling for a reason, no one wants to walk up and down the High Street with lorries going through.”
Heidi Gordon, owner of Kiss and Tell, said the pollution was ‘revolting’ and had caused her shop front to collect soot.
“The problem is if you stop the traffic it is going to affect the business - maybe they could just try calming it,” she said.
Mr Hammond, Mr Herbert and Mr Circus also knocked on residents’ doors to hear their opinions on the flow of traffic and how it affects their lives.