Residents 'choking on disgusting fumes' due to traffic lights in Chichester

From left: Christine Hall, who is moving into Draper's Yard with her business Aqua Living this week, Nick and Liz Jaeger, and Clothkits owner Kay Mawer
From left: Christine Hall, who is moving into Draper's Yard with her business Aqua Living this week, Nick and Liz Jaeger, and Clothkits owner Kay Mawer

'Disgusting fumes' are a health hazard to Chichester residents, a business owner has said, as a petition is launched to move a set of traffic lights.

The petition, set up by concerned residents, business owners and councillors, has a goal of 1,000 signatures. It has so far gained 149.

It has been set up on the website ipetition.com and describes the Market Avenue as 'one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the whole of West Sussex and states that lights turn red at the crossing 'approximately every 30 seconds'.

Kay Mawer, who owns Clothkits in The Hornet said a zebra crossing would make the 'absolute most sense' and raised health concerns about 'disgusting fumes' from the area.

"We are affectionately known as the Cloth Kittens but we are becoming the Cough Kittens — we all have coughs," she said.

"People are choking on these disgusting fumes. We've even seen the blackening of our stock if we leave it out.

"In my opinion it was so wrong for this to have been done without some consultation."

Problems with the lights also cause problems elsewhere in Chichester, Kay added: "The trouble is, people try and circumnavigate and people try and cut through the residential roads where there are kids and families."

Clothkits team member Karen Adler lives on Lyndhurst Road which is also being affected by the traffic

Karen said: "There's a safety issue with these lights. It's dangerous. It is so noticeable the negative impact of that. As the day goes on the fumes do build — it's a significant health issue."

Part of the statement on the petition page reads: "The pedestrian crossing at Market Avenue and The Hornet junction was changed as part of the planning permission for a convenience store in Unicorn House. The convenience store did not proceed and is now occupied by a restaurant.

"Since the re-siting of the lights, motorists are unable to drive round into St Pancras or go straight across to East Street as easily as they could before.

"Research has shown that when The Hornet lights are red, traffic trying to turn into St Pancras was blocked for up to 78 per cent of the time and up to 56 per cent of the time even when the lights were green, as drivers queuing up to cross into East street blocked the flow of traffic.

"West Sussex County Council Highways had originally agreed to return the lights to their original position after the restaurant took over the premises but have now declined."

Find out more about the petition here: Keep The Hornet Moving