Storrington Low Emission Zone Scheme Project Report
The low emission zone trial in Storrington has ended and, unfortunately, has demonstrated that an LEZ will not be possible in this rural location. A low emission zone was one of the measures identified in the Storrington Air Quality Action Plan to address the poor air quality in parts of the village. This was the favoured option following a public consultation on the action plan measures.
The low emission zone trial was undertaken in partnership with Siemens UK using their Greenzone low emission zone solution and was commenced in March 2014. The system uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to identify the age, type and “Euro” class of vehicles. This was an innovative approach to tackling the air quality problem in the rural setting of Storrington as such solutions have previously only be tried in urban centres. Unfortunately the trial experienced a series of data problems that could not be resolved relating to mobile phone signal problems and also because of limitations in the ANPR technology meaning that data could not be adequately captured.
Subsequently, funding from Defra’s Air Quality Grant was sought in order to undertake a feasibility study into the costs of using either a wired camera connection or local storage and regular collection of data. The application was unsuccessful, therefore the project cannot be progressed unless an alternative source of funding is found. Funds for a feasibility study would also be required to consider in further detail the traffic management implications of such a Low Emission Zone.
Storrington was declared an Air Quality Management Area in December 2010 following measured exceedances of the levels of nitrogen dioxide at residential locations in the village. Other air quality improvement schemes are being explored by the Storrington Air Quality Action Plan Steering Group.
The air pollution in Storrington is predominantly traffic related so it has been important for Horsham District Council to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council as they are the highway authority. Both organisations together with Storrington and Sullington Parish Council have representatives on the Storrington Air Quality Action Planning Steering Group. The air quality action plan for Storrington includes a range of measures, both district wide and Storrington specific, many of which were presented at a public consultation event held in Mill Square in February 2013 at which around 1500 people attended. It has been necessary to consider action plan measures in the context of their likely impact on air quality, their deliverability and their value for money.
The Steering Group is continuing to explore solutions to reduce traffic related pollution. Horsham District Council continues to monitor air quality throughout the Storrington air quality management area and the good news is that the levels of nitrogen dioxide have shown an overall downward trend for the majority of the monitoring sites in Storrington.
For further information on the air quality improvement schemes identified for Storrington, see the latest annual air quality report: Annual Status Report 2020