Protest rally over fears for decline in air quality

Air quality protesters in Horsham SUS-170626-155814001
Air quality protesters in Horsham SUS-170626-155814001

People gathered in Horsham town centre on Saturday in a protest rally over the town’s air quality.

Concerns about pollution are growing because of proposals to expand Gatwick Airport and plans to site a new industrial incinerator on the edge of Horsham.

Members of CAGNE - Communities Against Noise and Emissions - and members of No Incinerator 4 Horsham joined forces for the rally to raise awareness of growing air pollution.

The two groups voiced their concerns at an ‘I Love Clean Air’ rally in Horsham’s Carfax.

CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey said Gatwick continued to expand leading to increased road and rail congestion around the airport.

She said passenger numbers at Gatwick had grown from 267,767 in 2015 to 275,633 in 2016.

“Passenger numbers are growing but with no investment by Gatwick in the roads they congested,” she said. “The railway line is at full capacity and Gatwick acts as a bottleneck for areas further down the line.”

She added: “Gatwick must take responsibility for the traffic they add to our roads and the congestion they are creating, they can’t be allowed to say that onward surface access is not their problem.”

Helen Clarke, one of the founder members of the group No Incinerator 4 Horsham(www.ni4h.org) pointed out that waste being burnt at the new incinerator “was not local domestic waste, but industrial and commercial waste potentially from across the south of England.

“This would be transported to this site on the doorstep of Horsham along our already congested roads.

“What about our air quality? This could only be detrimental to the air quality our children breathe.

“Add to this the tiny particles that burning waste releases into the air, it could only mean that the air we inhale would be drastically compromised by such an incinerator.”

Deadline for comments to West Sussex County Council on the incinerator proposals is June 29.