I have recently visited the exhibition of potential solutions to the air quality issue in Storrington. It is obvious that a great deal of work (and money) has been spent to achieve nothing as yet.
When the air quality issue was raised a number of years ago, resident responses were sought and I duly contacted HDC by email to highlight that when Houghton Bridge had to be closed to heavy vehicles for structural repairs, the traffic problems in Storrington (and hence probably the air pollution) had reduced significantly. I suggested that it might be appropriate to close that bridge to heavy vehicles on a permanent basis to ease the air quality problems. Years later we have still seen nothing (other than a significant spend on resources and consultants) and the outline plans suggested did not incorporate this relatively simple and cost effective solution in isolation. There is, of course, a general statement in the exhibition / documentation regarding the reduction of heavy duty vehicles. Would it not be sensible to try a test process in the immediate future to record the impact of this limited option? I am sure the residents of the village would appreciate the significant reduction of lorries passing through Storrington in any case. This would also benefit the residents of Amberley and reduce future damage to Houghton Bridge.
Another thought regarding the traffic issues is that often significant queues are caused by delivery lorries parking close to the shops at busy times. If deliveries were controlled to be at the kno wn quieter times in Storrington, the queues would be less significant and the traffic movement would mean a reduction in air pollution.
I noticed at the exhibition that a possible solution was to provide traffic gateways. This would probably cause traffic queues on feeder roads thus having a significant impact on residents using the feeder roads and it might also mean that traffic (including lorries) might attempt to try and find different routes though / around Storrington thus potentially causing new problems and traffic pollution hot-spots.
I do not believe that the re-opening of Nightingale Lane would do anything of significance re the air quality and it could cause unnecessary accidents as potential extra traffic joining Washington Road / Manley’s Hill would have to negotiate a difficult junction.
Obviously it would not be practical to eliminate the movement of all heavy goods vehicles through Storrington but I am convinced that a really significant reduction would be achieved by the closure of Houghton Bridge to lorries. At least please give it a try!!
J R Butler
Melton Drive, Storrington